Tributes to Osaze



If you would like to provide your own tribute to Osaze or share your memories of him, please feel free to send them to to have them posted on this page.

Please do not send flowers, rather, please consider donating to a fund we have set up to create a scholarship in memory of Osaze. To contribute please click the donate button.

Osaze Osagie was one of the kindest and the most unselfish people I have ever known. Despite his struggles, he always managed to pull through and put a smile on people's faces. He did not deserve to die in the way that he did. Compromised mental health while being Black should not be a crime, and he will receive his justice. 





Osaze Osagie was my big brother and my first friend. Even though he was dealing with a lot, he was the most kind hearted individual I've ever known. His faith was so visible despite everything that he was going through, and he was always able to make you laugh and smile at any moment. I miss him more than ever. 





When the doctors told us my brother was on the autism spectrum, we were both surprised and concerned. Despite his challenges, my brother was a bright light to both our family and church community. He always made sure to spread his positive outlook and bright smile with everyone he knew. We will miss him dearly.




Osaze. Your life was cut short in an unjust world. Its cruelty will never diminish the life you lived, will never darken the love of your family, will never erase the love you shared with us and others. We see you. We remember you. We love you. Rest in peace.





Will miss that handsome face every Sunday. He always had a smile for me. Gentle giant of a man. When I see him again that smile will be even bigger because we'll be in our forever home.  My prayers are with his beautiful, loving family. God heals the brokenhearted. 

~A sister in the Lord




Gentle, kind, respectful, passionate. Those are a few descriptive words I can easily use to describe Osaze, a young man who made an impact and left a mark on my life. Each time I would greet Osaze in church, he would have his Bible open, readily studying scripture. He not only knew the Word, he was engaged in it and sought to understand it fully. He was kind with his words and gentle in his hellos and handshakes. He went to the alter for prayer time and time and time again...persistent, passionate for Jesus, a powerful man of God. The scripture from Matthew 22:37 comes to mind when I think of him because he did an excellent job of striving to do what Jesus spoke. Thank you, Osaze, for being an example of loving the Lord your God in every way. Your life here on earth ended way too soon, but I rejoice knowing we will meet again.

~Ashley McDonald




To the most loving, kind family, I send deepest sympathy on the loss of your beautiful son and brother, Osaze, from your Corl Street family. I remember him from his elementary school days.  May your faith and love give you strength during this time of sorrow. Your family has always held a special place in my heart.  
~Pat Shoffner (Corl Street Teacher)




It seems "gentle" is the common word in everyone's thoughts of Osaze. So very true. Also, I immediately think of that bright and beautiful smile that lit up his whole face. I knew this fine young man mostly in his childhood, especially getting to know him when I stayed with the kids while their folks travelled to Italy. He was so so much FUN! Mostly quiet, sweet, helpful, and just silly enough to be a real charmer! His commitment to and love for the Lord was evident at such an early age. Haven't seen you for a long while, Ozase, but I know I will again.

~Ellen Mayer




I did not know Osaze, but reading these tributes brought tears to my eyes. My heart breaks for your family and all the families grieving the senseless deaths of loved ones due to police violence. May the seeds of your heartbreak bear fruit in greater justice and compassion in our community, along with non-violent ways of helping people who struggle with mental health.

~Esther Prins




Gentle, kind, respectful and passionate–these words describe who Osaze was. I loved his smile. I often saw Osaze with his Bible open and reading. He knew his scriptures and he lived them out. He was an awesome man of God who continued to grow spiritually. He believed in the power of prayer. I consider it a privilege to have known Osaze. He was taken from us too soon, but I know I will see him again.

~Brenda Lange




Even though I do not know you Osaze, as a good friend of Aunt Octavia she has expressed so many fond and pleasant memories of you. You will no longer be around to rush out to greet her, give her a big hug and help with her suitcase when she visits your family. She cherishes you being a well-mannered, loving and kind individual. We pray that God will grant you eternal rest and that Mother Earth will shine on you always. Sleep on and take your rest, my Dear.

~Carina Johnson-Bayer




I remember Osaze very well from the weekly bible study sessions Sylvester used to lead when I was in State College. He was about nine or 10 years old then, very gentle and somewhat shy. As he grew older and despite his shyness, he would very often provide insightful comments during our bible study sessions and I would marvel at the fact that he did not seem to mind being among so many grown ups. I remember him also as a teenager who always welcomed me into his house with a smile whenever it fell to him to open the door. I am deeply saddened by his passing but as the bible teaches, I focus instead on God's purpose and the fact that in His good time, He will show us how even in this situation, all things work together for good for those He has called. I thank the Lord for Osaze's Christian life.  Osaze, you will live in my heart for ever. 


~Modupe Irele




Osaze lives forever.


Geetha and I were overcome with grief at the end in this world of ours to the wonderful short life of your dear son who had exhibited so much love to things of beauty in life, and loved by so many people for what he was, a beautiful person.  Almighty God has called Osaze into His Kingdom to spare him and others who knew him little to any further problems of understanding. 


Geetha and I, as you know, are from the Hindu faith.  We would like to share this thought with Iyunolu , you and your near and dear ones.   It comes from Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 27.  Lord Krishna tells a lamenting Arjuna:

“For one who has taken birth, death is certain and for one who is dead, birth is certain.  Therefore, you are not to lament for an inevitable situation.”


Life may have ended for Osaze on this Earth on that fateful day when he was shot.  In the Kingdom of God, life if eternal.  We can be assured that Osaze, his heart filled with love and affection for all, will find in the Kingdom of the Lord understanding and peace of mind, both of which eluded him here on earth.


~Raja V. and Geetha V. Ramani




What a great guy! We took a class together in high school, shared a desk, and was able to get to know him a bit. He was kind, gentle, and shy. I was shy too, new to this land, and he was the friend I needed when I didn't quite fit in. I don't quite remember what Osaze and I talked about, but I do remember that he went out of his shy ways in order to bring me out of my shy ways and I'm sure that it was hard. I'm so sorry for what happened.

~Former classmate




“Osaze was a delight to be around. He always had a funny and clever comment about anything and everything you can think of. People naturally gravitated to Osaze because he had a great “spark.” Additionally, he was incredibly thoughtful. Osaze always noticed when anyone in our group of friends had a new hairstyle or new article of clothing and he always had a kind compliment to offer. He was so unselfish. In this world of social media, it is easy to be focused on one’s self, but although Osaze was greatly accomplished himself, he was always focused on others and making others around him feel happy. Osaze and I became friends when I moved to State College two and a half years ago. I can honestly say without any exaggeration that he was one of the kindest people I have met. He was such a wonderful, unique individual and he did not deserve to pass in the way that he did. Osaze, Your Life Mattered. We miss you, Osaze!”


~Friend and peer 




Osaze was one of the gentlest, light-hearted, and kind individuals that I knew growing up. I don’t ever remember seeing him without a smile on his face. I don’t remember hearing him speak an unkind word or even laugh at someone’s expense. And I knew him from elementary through high school, so that’s a lot of smiles and kind words. It’s terrible that we’ve lost a person like that, like Osaze. They don’t come around that often.


~Caleb Johnson




Osaze. It's really hard to accept that you're gone. I remember your kind, gentle spirit and welcoming smile everytime I came to visit your family at State College, PA. You were always ready to lend a helping hand. You will be greatly missed and fondly remembered. May the Lord comfort your family at this difficult time. We pray that justice will be served in your life and the lives of other black youths tragically cut short by police violence. Osaze you live on in our hearts. Rest in the bosom of the Lord Jesus, until we meet to part no more. 


~Saratu O. Samande (Eliyakim-Samaila)




I cannot imagine that someone who was so loving, caring and would not hurt a fly would have their life taken in such a violent manner. This is someone I have watched grow up right before my eyes. It seems just like yesterday when we could get together to solve math problems. But all that is now behind us and I will never have another opportunity to see your sweet innocent smile as you greeted me whenever we met. Osaze was the most gentle person I knew and I can only hope that even through this tragedy something positive will come from it, even though in my finite mind I do not see how. Osaze, you are and will be missed. Rest in peace with the Lord as this world was not worthy of having someone like you.




I didn’t know you, but I know your kind and loving father and grieve for him, your family and friends. May your memory serve as an inspiration that we need to do better in this world and never become complacent. 
With love,


~Deanna Behring




I am so grateful that God blessed me to know the sweet, gentle, kind and loving child of God named Osaze.  I had the privilege of knowing him when he was a very young lad and watched him grow up over the next six or  seven years.  At the age when some young people are bent toward mischievousness—not Osaze—he was the same no matter where you saw him—with or without his parents.  He always exhibited a quiet, loving, and respectful countenance.  

Sylvester, Iyun, and family—your son and your brother left more than a mark on this earth —he left a print—a blue print of how to live life lovingly.  Again, I am so very thankful to God for Osaze.  Please accept my love and heartfelt condolences.

I loved Osaze and I love  you all. 

With Love and Kindness,

~Anita Fleming-Rife, Ph.D.



I am so sorry for your family’s loss - also the community’s loss. 

I remember Osaze with a huge smile on his face. It was hard to miss. When I think of Osaze, that is all I see. I remember the beaming smile, kind personality, a little shy but so welcoming nonetheless. Osaze was someone everyone knew and was friends with. I am truly heartbroken by all that has transpired. 

I have not seen Osaze since we were at Park Forest Middle School, maybe in 7th grade. Osaze and I were in the same class in 4th and 5th grade at Corl St. My favorite memories of Osaze, besides his huge smile, were of us playing soccer at recess. 

I pray for your family. Please let me know if I can help. 

Kind Regards,

~Najat Garcia




I met Osaze when he was a toddler. My earliest memory of Osaze was at Unity Church. He was sitting next to his Mom, who was holding his little brother, Ebinose. Iyun was trying to keep the little ones settled and quiet, giving Ebinose a bottle. At one point, Osaze got ahold of Ebinose’s bottle, and I remember fondly how his mother asked him, “Do you have no shame?” over his taking his baby brother’s bottle. He gave his mother a sheepish grin, and continued to suck happily on his stolen treasure. That’s my memory of Osaze. This sweet, innocent little kid.

I moved away from State College before Osaze grew up, but I kept in touch over the years with his parents, Iyun and Sylvester. So, as time passed, Osaze grew up. I don’t know how he grew and developed as he transitioned from childhood to adulthood. I know from his Mom that he had some mental health issues. Despite that, I can’t help but remember the sweet, innocent kid. I look at his picture as an adult, and I still see that sweet, innocent, gentle smile and the face of a man whose life has been kissed by God. I pray that his family finds comfort in knowing that he is with God now.




My friend, my brother in Christ, your wisdom of the Word of God echos in the walls of our home...thanks to Osaze.  I always looked forward  to our weekly bible study with many of our church family at our home. Only fond memories come to me when I think of Osaze. His gentle handshake and hug, polite and well mannered, and most importantly, he knew his Bible! He was always the first to find the scripture we were looking for.  His knowledge and love for his Lord Jesus Christ was very evident.  There will be a big void in our lives to the people he touched.

~Leah Gyrych




Osaze when I visited your parents in State College a few years ago. You were a young handsome guy with a calm disposition but today the cold hands of death have snatched you away...My heart bleeds because of the way you left this wicked world. My consolation is that you are now with your maker where you will no longer know pain or sorrow. May God comfort and console your parents, siblings and all of us. May your gentle soul rest in peace. Continue to rest son until we meet again in the bosom of God where we will part no more.
~ Auntie Beatrice




My brother, though I did not meet you in life, I have the privilege of learning about you after your transition to home. Knowing that you gave your life to Christ years ago is very comforting to those that love you. Life is best in the hand of the maker!! You are home now. Rest in everlasting peace!

~Ifeoma Aroh




Beloved Osaze, you will be dearly missed. As I look at the pictures posted on the website, I remember your sweet spirit as a young boy. I would see you at Assembly of God Church studying for Bible Quiz. You were so amazing at Bible Quiz. Each week I would ask Charmee and Kaitrin who won Bible Quiz and they would say you. At one point, I stop asking because I knew the answer. Charmee and Kaitrin and I use to call you boy genius.Your gentle spirit, talents, warm smile and love will never be forgotten. Peace be upon you young man til we meet again. 






The Osagie family is one of the most gentle, humble, and accomplished families I have ever met. I am so sorry that you must mourn the tragic loss of a precious son and brother. My husband and I taught Osaze in children's church. As a teen, he was involved in Bible memorization through a church group our kids were also involved in. I will remember Osaze as quiet, respectful, determined, intelligent, joyful and full of faith. I pray you find the supernatural peace that passes all understanding through your own strong faith as you walk through this journey of loss.

~Deb Moyer




Our daughter, Harley, was friends with Ebinose at Corl Street Elementary School. During the summers, we shared our blanket space and snacks with Osaze and Ebinose. They were joyous, courteous, and wonderful boys. The news of Osaze's death was devastating to us all. Our condolences to his family. 


~The Fong family




I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of Osaze and am still in shock of the tragedy. Osaze was a loving, caring and altruistic son, brother, friend and person whom I had the pleasure to meet. My prayers and thoughts are with the family. I trust that they will be able to surmount this difficult period. Osaze still had his life ahead of him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.





My favorite memories with Osaze was cooking plantains.  One day he asked me to teach him to cook plantains and this is what he said when I asked why, “I want to surprise my family and make them breakfast one morning.” On many occasions he brought in enough plantains for the group to eat and he thanked me constantly for teaching him. This was the kind of person Osaze was, constantly thinking of others and looking for ways to bring some small token of food or happiness for everyone. While he was a quiet person he had a large presence in our group and many looked up to him and sought his friendship and his wisdom. I will have a hard time cooking plantains as they will always remind me of how sweet and willing to learn Osaze was. He is missed by all.  


~Former mental health care provider