Students, friends remember ‘always smiling’ Devin Moore for kind spirit, devotion to fraternity

Devin Moore (left) and DeMarcus Jordan. 

Cameron Gorman

To those who knew him, Devin Moore was someone who loved laughing, his hair and his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., where he won “Man of the Year.” He was also someone whose impact has become clear through the grief of the Kent State community and beyond after his loss.

“He’s one of those people where you’re not sure what he’s going to do, but you knew he was going to be successful,” said Cameron Redic, an alumnus who met Moore in college. “He just kind of had that ‘it’ factor about him, just that aura about him.”

Moore, a Kent State senior journalism major, died Wednesday night after collapsing while playing basketball at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on campus.

“You go through the whole process of going to college, meeting new people and it’s not always a easy road to travel,” Redic said. “People get frustrated with each other, there’s all kinds of problems that could happen, but with Dev, what I respected about him was we had one issue and we were able to come together, settled it and be cool. It didn’t go any further than it needed to, he was level-headed. I mean, he was just a good person.”

The cause of Moore’s death is unknown at this time. 

“Life is so fragile,” Redic said. “Life, period, is so fragile. You don’t just die on your own; you can die at any time and we all have to … understand that this life we have is limited.”

Since the tragedy, the community has responded with an outpouring of remembrance, including a candlelight vigil and sharing their thoughts on social media.

“He was one of the most positive people that I’ve known for years,” said Malik Billingsley, a graduate student studying criminal justice at Muskingum University, via a Twitter message. “He had the ability to light up the entire room just by his presence.”

Billingsley said he played basketball against Moore in the past.

“I looked at him as a brother and someone I know would have my back through whatever,” Billingsley said.

Others felt the same way about Moore’s generosity.

“Dev was the type of person to literally give you food out his fridge if he knew you didn’t eat that day,” said Nyla Henderson, a junior journalism major and friend of Moore, via email.

Moore reached people outside of the Kent State community regularly, Redic said.

“This is someone who brightened everyone else’s mood,” said Ohio University student Yasmine Agyekum via email, who met Moore last year. “His amazing smile literally never left his face. His energy fills an entire room. He was always the life of the party, even at Ohio University.”

Agyekum remembers speaking with Moore at the beginning of the semester, when he spoke about getting ready to graduate this year.

“He is an amazing person who was going to do amazing things,” she said. “He touched the lives of so many people all throughout Ohio.”

Royal Eddie, a student at University of Mount Union and fellow member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., said he met Moore in sixth grade.

“Man, Devin was just a smiley person,” Eddie said. “He had a good energy, good aura around him. He just was a happy person, he had a good vibe, a good energy — a good, genuine energy.”  

Eddie, who last saw Moore Friday, said he felt Moore had helped to revitalize the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. chapter at Kent State.

“They hadn’t had any Ques in Kent since like 2010, and then in 2014 he became a Que, and since then I think he just was like a resurgence within Kent State,” Eddie said. “I think he made being a Que cool. … I think he just changed the whole culture there, so he is, I think, solely responsible for how the chapter is going now, so that’s a lot to say for one person, really.”

Moore’s friend DeMarcus Jordan, a Kent State alumnus who bonded with Moore, Redic and others through playing basketball in college, agreed and said he “brought back to life the whole scope of the Greek Life.”

“Him and his chapter, they won awards,” Jordan said. “A lot of community service was far as having car washes and just get-togethers just to put money toward charity or something positive. … He just supported a lot of things.”

Quaylyn Hairston, a junior journalism major, said she met Moore her freshman year through a mutual friend.

“I would always see him in Franklin (Hall) or off campus at the parties he would throw,” Hairston wrote via text message. “He was always such a great man, always smiling, laughing and joking around.”

One thing is clear: Moore’s loss has sent shockwaves through not only Kent State, but across Ohio.

“The memories that we have, they feel like yesterday,” Redic said. “Just walking through campus right now … I don’t think that there’s too many campuses where I didn’t interact with him somewhere. We had classes together, we’d been in the HUB all the time, just walking —”

Jordan interrupted, finishing the sentence for him.

“Talking about life.”

Cameron Gorman is the humanities reporter. Contact her at [email protected]