The sound of choked-back tears echoed throughout Grizzly Plaza as hundreds gathered to remember slain Revelstoke youth Daniel Jordan Levesque at a candlelight memorial Friday night.
“I don’t know if I’ll know anyone like him again,” sobbed his mother Stacey Thur. “Not just because he was my son, my baby – but because he was amazing.”
Levesque, 20, was born and raised in Revelstoke until he moved to Victoria three months ago to pursue a career in music. He died tragically from wounds suffered in a stabbing incident in an upscale condo Wednesday afternoon.
He undoubtedly impacted many in his shortened life. Friends that addressed the mourning crowd spoke of his ability to make people laugh and to inspire others.
“I miss those days, the laughter, the music, the adventures and fun,” said one girl he inspired. “You turned me from a self-hating girl to someone who’s confident and courageous,” she added.
Levesque was a first born child who was “quite loved and spoiled by everybody,” said Thur in an interview earlier Friday. She described him as a “sweet little boy, very smart for his age, way beyond his years, talked a mile-a-minute, very chatty and friends with everybody.”
He was also one of the funniest people she knew. “He always made me laugh,” she said.
“Everybody loved him,” she told the Times Review. “He was full of compassion and caring and he was loyal to a fault.”
For Thur, Levesque’s death is doubly hard to take; this is the second son she has lost. “I buried his brother 16 years ago. I wasn’t ready to bury another one.”
Music was always a big part of his life. He could sing before he could talk, his mother recalled, and once his report card from swimming lessons said, “Daniel needs to sing less and swim more,”
“Ever since I first met him he’s always been playing guitar,” said one of his best friends Julian Romeo in an interview Friday morning. “He just started perfecting it. He was getting so good, playing his own music, coming up with his own covers of songs. He would play them with his own twist.”
Daniel Jordan Levesque. Photo courtesy Stacey Thur.
He was a smart kid and got good grades in school, especially in English and art class. He could have done anything he wanted but “music was in his soul,” his mother said. He was a popular kid with lots of friends and would always look to cheer people up, diffuse heated moments and get people out of trouble.
“He would always play the mom role, making sure we were all being safe” Romeo said. “He got me out of trouble a lot of times.”
Levesque’s mother said he was always good at making friends. If he met someone at a party, the next day they would be out having lunch – such was his ability to connect with people.
“He was well loved by his peers, popular and a friend to the lonely a lot of the time,” Thur said.
Thur last saw Levesque last Sunday, just days before his death and she said life was going well for Levesque in Victoria. He recently had a piece of poetry published in Scratch magazine, with a second set to appear in the next issue; recorded one of his songs and was performing live around the city.
The day of his murder, he started a new job with a local law firm that would allow him to stay in the city he was starting to love, she said.
“I’m just so proud of his music and his bravery to share it with people,” she said.
Levesque’s impact amongst the people in his life was evident by both the hundreds gathered at his memorial as well as the outpouring of grief on his Facebook wall that began immediately after word of his death spread. A Facebook memorial group titled Daniel Jordan Levesque, a musician, a friend, and a son was set up.
“He would always talk with everybody about how much you all meant to him,” said one friend who had spent the past few weeks in Victoria with Levesque at Friday night’s memorial.
Said another: “If there’s only one good thing that would come from all of this, it’s that we can be closer together now.”
At the memorial’s conclusion a bell rang as a train passed through the Mackenzie Avenue crossing. People hugged and cried and tried to make sense of Levesque’s passing. They set the candles they were holding on the plaza gazebo and released their balloons in the sky where they floated towards the heavens, where many believed Levesque was watching from above.
You can view more photos from the memorial in the slideshow above.