WAIMEA BAY (HawaiiNewsNow) - "I loved your use of humor. You always made me laugh." Those words came from Dot Carter as she eulogized her son Ashley White at his memorial service early Friday night at Waimea Bay.
White was killed in a skydiving accident Sunday in Mokuleia. He collided with another skydiver in mid-air, was knocked unconscious, and fell to his death.
Carter flew in from Australia to join her son's friends at the memorial. It was both a time to mourn and a time to celebrate his life -- a life full of adventure.
"There was nothing he would not have a try at. He just loved being adventurous. Surfing, you name it. He wanted to just have a try," Carter told Hawaii News Now.
Dot carter says her son made his first jump 12 years ago. He was hooked.
"I think it changed his perspective in life. He'd found something that made him feel ten feet tall," she added.
White moved to Arizona to pursue skydiving. He eventually settled in Hawaii. He made more than 12,000 jumps. And he made a living taking skydiving pictures and video and giving lessons.
"He taught me how to skydive. We became friends in that process and as life ensued we found we had a lot of common interests. We liked to surf. We like to fish. We love the water. We love the sky. We love life," Eric Welton said at the memorial.
As the sun dipped toward the distant horizon White's friends paddled out into the bay to hold hands and share memories. A buddy with a plane made a final fly-by. This, they believe, is the way White would have wanted his loved ones to say goodbye.
"I could not have taken him back to Australia with me for his funeral because this is where his home is," his mother said.
Ash white is gone at age 40, but his spirit lives on in the people he touched.