Nearly a thousand people packed the worship hall at Lakeside Church in Folsom on Saturday to honor Ronin Shimizu, the 12-year-old who committed suicide last month.
The seventh grader was homeschooled after he was bullied at several Folsom Cordova Unified schools, family and friends say. His suicide has rattled the community and drawn international media attention.
On Saturday, the Shimizu family, friends, classmates and other community members gathered to remember him. The hall was decorated with light green-colored balloons – Ronin’s favorite color.
“Like Ronin, we are all on a search to belong,” Rev. Brad Franklin of Lakeside Church said in opening remarks.
Ronin was remembered as “creative” and “innovative.” Ronin loved art, fashion and, especially, cheerleading. He was the only boy on the Vista Jr Eagles Cheer squad.
Haley Hill, 13, Ronin’s best friend, held back tears as she delivered a speech on stage.
“Ronin always knew how to make someone laugh,” she said.
Some people remembered Ronin through social media.
Call The Bee’s Richard Chang at (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter @RichardYChang.