BELTON, Texas (FOX 44) – The class of 2022 is sad to hear the news of one of their own passing away earlier today. As way to honor Jose Ramirez’s life, fellow classmates rounded up Tuesday evening for a balloon release.

Friends and family of Joe Ramirez gathered Tuesday evening at Christ the King in Belton. Several friends described Joe as a guy who could lighten anyone’s day.

“He is definitely a genuine person. I mean, even through those moments, [he knew] how to make you crack a smile and know how to crack a joke. Not to make you laugh or anything. He was always there for you,” says Martin Martinez, a friend of Joe.

The Belton community certainly showed up for Joe. After the students heard the news that Joe was in the hospital and didn’t make it, they organized a vigil for him.

“I’m sure Joe would be happy to see all this. You know, it’s a very sad moment though. But just as good, though, seeing everybody coming out. You know, support, show love is what Joe would have wanted,” says Joseph Sandoval, a friend of Joe.

Joseph Sandoval, one of Joe’s closest friends, says he can’t believe his friend is no longer with him.

“A brother from another mother. He was the closest person to me and you know, he meant everything to me and I’m pretty sure I mean everything to him,” says Sandoval.

Jose would have joined the other Belton High School class of 2022 grads walk across the stage later this month.

“We were actually planning on getting a house together and like a duplex somewhere, which, you know its just sad.” says Sandoval.

The community has also set up a GoFundMe page to help the family out as they are grieving their loss.