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Friends, classmates, family celebrate 2nd grader’s life

Updated: Friday, August 29 2014, 06:00 PM EDT
JEFERSON COUNTY, Ohio – Friday would have been the first day of school for Mathew Smith, a 7-year-old who was tragically killed Wednesday when a large sign came crashing down on top of him inside a building being used for storage.
Smith’s young classmates classmates, friends, teachers and family members paid tribute to him, releasing more than 100 balloons into the sky at Wintersville Elementary School. Those close to him say he was always full of life and friendly to everyone.
“(He was) always smiling,” Mathew’s grandfather Mike Kuester said. “Outside kind of kid, you know. When his brother didn’t want to be out, he did. He was just always active, in high gear. He was always happy. He fought and loved his brother, just like brothers do."
Hunting, fishing and hanging out with his dad were just some of the many things Kuester said his grandson enjoyed.
Matthew's 9-year-old brother Michael shared some memories, too.
"I do know that every time he tried to copy a joke, he just made it weird," Michael said. “We used to always play tag."
The school decided to put together the balloon release to celebrate Matthew's life. His family said it was a wonderful to see everyone come together.
Friday would have been Matthew's first day of second grade.
"Yep, he was excited to be coming to school,” Kuester said. “He loved school; he loved all his friends."
The school held group counseling to tell students what happened, and it will have counselors on hand for any students or parents.

Friends, classmates, family celebrate 2nd grader’s life

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