David Heinrich wasn’t one to avoid people in the hallway.
Even if he hadn’t seen a person in a while, Heinrich would always be the one to say “Hi,” said Christina Bahou, a fourth-year Syracuse University School of Architecture student.
“After everything, he respects the connections he’s made,” Bahou said.
Heinrich, 24, died on March 9. A native of Arlington Heights, Illinois, he was a fourth-year architecture student at SU.
Bahou and Nathaniel Banks, another fourth-year student studying architecture, both met Heinrich when they were all placed in the same freshman-year studio. Bahou was Heinrich’s partner for the course’s first project, and Banks sat at the desk next to him.
While Heinrich was shy and quiet at first, once a person got to know him he would open up and become especially talkative, Banks said. They bonded over their love of the HBO show “Game of Thrones” and comic book movie adaptions, and often saw films together.
In class, David had a smart sense of humor, Bahou said, and would often break awkward situations with jokes.
“He would literally say something very random, just as a joke, and then everyone would literally take two minutes to process what he just said and then break out laughing,” Bahou said.
William Rittmeyer, a childhood friend of Heinrich’s, met him in sixth grade, when Heinrich transferred to St. Peter Lutheran School in Arlington Heights. The two kept in touch throughout the years, from playing capture the flag and Monopoly in middle school to going to bars and movies on college breaks. He remembered Heinrich’s passion for aquariums — like when he and another friend tried to raise a hundred guppies in high school — and his wall-length aquarium in his room at his parents’ house.
Rittmeyer said Heinrich had a set of experiences few others have because of health complications. Yet Heinrich was caring to the point that when the two talked, they talked more about Rittmeyer than Heinrich.