Those who knew Kamdon Stevens remember his clapping, crazy hats and laughter that would always fill a room.
“His hands were tiny, but his clap was the loudest clap,” said Nation Ford special education teacher Katie Clenshaw. “It’s just a less happy place without him. He was a bright light.”
His hands were tiny, but his clap was the loudest clap.
Katie Clenshaw, Nation Ford special education teacher
Stevens, 15, died Monday at Levine Children’s Hospital. He remains a bright spot in the memories of his teachers, family members, classmates and friends.
Clenshaw taught Stevens last year for his freshman year at Nation Ford. She said he was always full of joy and put his best effort into everything he did.
Stevens was active in his class jobs, which included selling cookies. He always called students over to buy one of the sweet treats, Clenshaw said.
“Doing a lot of things weren’t always easy for him, but he would figure out a way to get it done,” she said. “He just had that spark. Even when it was a rough day, he would always make it better.”
Stevens’ mother Krystal Brown said her “miracle child” always wanted to bring joy to others.
“He never wanted to see anyone sad,” she said. “He always wanted to make people happy.”
Brown said her son loved his family, music and events such as graduations and marching band competitions. Stevens was also a big flirt, according to his mother.
“He loved girls,” she said.
Brown said her son also loved school.
Stevens was a member of Nation Ford’s Club UNIFY, a group dedicated to the inclusion of people with disabilities. The club is where Stevens met twins Aidan and Bennett Donovan, 15, with who he became close.
“Kam was a great kid,” Aidan said. “He loved you for who you are. I’m happy for the time we had together.”
Bennett said Stevens loved everyone.
“He was full of energy and smiles,” Bennett said. “Life for him was like a big game of tag with no winners or losers.”
Life for him was like a big game of tag with no winners or losers.
Bennett Donovan, Nation Ford student
Nation Ford Principal Jason Johns said Stevens loved lunch time because he could socialize.
“He was one of those kids who never met a stranger,” Johns said. “Everybody loved him.”
Stevens also liked sports and competed in the Special Olympics, taking home multiple medals, Clenshaw said. Despite his small frame, Stevens had a deft touch with a basketball, she said.
“He could hit the baskets like no other,” Clenshaw said.
Stevens’ physical education teacher Kate Edwards describes him as the “hype man” of his class.
“He could walk into a room of 65 of his peers and he would just start clapping and he would get the whole gym clapping,” she said. “He had a way of connecting with everybody. You don’t see that in every kid you teach.”
He had a way of connecting with everybody. You don’t see that in every kid you teach.
Kate Edwards, Nation Ford P.E. teacher
Being involved in his school and meeting others brought Stevens joy, Clenshaw said.
“The year he had at this school is the greatest year he had,” she said. “He was such a happy kid.”
A memorial service for Stevens is 6 p.m. Friday at Lifepointe Christian Church, 2266 Deerfield Drive in Fort Mill. The theme is Mad Hatters and guests are asked to wear fun hats in his honor.
Nation Ford students and staff will also honor Stevens during the Falcons’ Sept. 8 football game, where the National Anthem will be dedicated to his memory, Johns said.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for memorials to be made to Nation Ford High School’s Special Education Department.
“He was a happy, happy kid,” Brown said. “His absence is definitely going to be felt.”
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082