Attendees of the memorial service laughed and cried as Deboch’s professors and friends shared their thoughts about the 27-year-old economics student from Ethiopia. Everyone that spoke mentioned his friendly disposition and the fact that he always had a smile on his face.
"People who live eighty plus years probably didn't fit in as much love and happiness in their lifetime as Tesfaye got to, and he shared that with so many people," said WSU Graduate Student Rebekah Shrader
Deboch drowned in a hotel pool while attending a conference in Seattle late last month. He was the first person in his family to move to America to attend college. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wyoming and he was expected to graduate from WSU with a PhD in economics next year.