HILLSBOROUGH - Hillsborough High School student Justin Daniel Clark is being remembered for his passion for ice hockey, particularly the New Jersey Devils, and his love for rescuing animals, a trait he shared with his late grandfather.
Justin, who had just celebrated his 17th birthday on Dec. 29, died Tuesday from what family and friends have said was COVID-19 and pneumonia complications.
His funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 22 at the McCriskin-Gustafson Home for Funerals, 2425 Plainfield Ave. in South Plainfield, followed by a burial at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, according to his obituary.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Jan. 21 at the funeral home.
"Justin was an amazing young man who was very well loved by many. He was an amazing big brother to his two younger brothers Aiden and Ryder who will miss him dearly," is written on a GoFundMe.com page called Help Nicole with her son's funeral set up by Lisa Ferraro of South Plainfield.
Ferraro said she created the page on behalf of Justin's heartbroken parents, Nicole Lopes-Meeks and James Clark.
Justin, a high school junior, loved ice hockey and the New Jersey Devils, and he wore their jacket proudly. He also enjoyed playing video games with friends online, according to the GoFundMe page.
"But when you needed him, he would be there for you no matter the situation," according to the fundraising page, which surpassed a $25,000 goal by raising more than $26,100 from more than 600 donors as of early Friday.
"People often commented on his selfless sense of compassion and kindness. He had a contagious laugh and a smile that could light up any room. He had an infectious and charismatic personality. The captivating charm of his manners and conversation is attested by all who knew him. He cared about his family and friends in the most genuine way. He was always willing to lend a helping hand by offering a listening ear, a smile, or words of encouragement. He was a tech savvy genius with an old loving soul," his obituary states.
Justin was an avid sports enthusiast who enjoyed riding four-wheel vehicles with his uncles and grandfather; playing basketball, roller hockey and street hockey; and watching sports, especially the Devils, according to his obituary.
He especially enjoyed spending time with his grandparents and loved his grandmother's cooking his obituary states.
"The unexpected death of a child is an unimaginable loss that no one could prepare for," wrote Angelica Romano of Hillsborough on another fundraising page called Tragic Loss of a Child - Support for Justin Clark, which has raised more than $13,500 of a $25,000 goal.
Romano said the love and joy that Justin brought to his family and everyone that knew him will never be forgotten.
"Justin had a big heart and his personality and smile was compelling beyond words. His never ending knowledge, love, and conversations for sports and music, especially the NJ Devils, has always been a passion of his. The family is devastated and truly heart broken," is written on the page.
Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: NJ student who died of COVID, pneumonia loved the NJ Devils