ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. - Even at his funeral, friends found it hard to tell stories about Dan McCauley and not smile.
"He saw a bunch of meat that my dad left in the kitchen for us and he told me that he was the man around here, and that he was going to be in charge of grilling," said McCauley's friend, Christina Roca. "The problem was, when he went out to start the grill, he couldn't turn it on!"
Of course, there were plenty of tears over the teen who died on his way to pick a friend up for school on Wednesday.
"Thank you for all the precious memories that you've given us," said Roca.
But to family, services were a celebration of someone who fulfilled his purpose in life: to make others happy. Christ Fellowship in Royal Palm Beach was decorated with his sports gear, signs and well-wishes from hundreds of his classmates at Palm Beach Central High School.
"He was really a loved kid. If you were his age, you were his friend," said his friend, Maxwell Needels. "If you were older than him, he was a little brother."
Friends talked of someone who was just as comfortable listening to Taylor Swift as he was dominating a wrestling match.
His big brother learned a lesson from his sudden death.
"Never miss an opportunity to tell people you love how you feel," said brother, David McCauley.
As McCauley's parents watched their sons classmates do just that, they had a sudden sense of optimism during their saddest of times.
"A lot of people think that the teenager is a troublemaker. I don't think so. They are loving and sharing people," said Jae McCauley, Dan's mother. "What an incredible community we are living in."
That community is trying to achieve something for Daniel McCauley.
A Facebook group has been started in hopes of getting Taylor Swift's attention so that she'll come to Palm Beach County to play a concert in his memory.
A message left with her record label Monday night was not immediately returned.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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