‘He was the light of the room’: DePaul graduate mourned by family and friends

Spouse and children and good friends will keep in mind DePaul graduate Oribi Kontein for

Spouse and children and good friends will keep in mind DePaul graduate Oribi Kontein for his infectious identity, urge for food for life, seemingly infinite generosity — and undesirable dance moves.

“He knew what it meant to really like and to be cherished, and by way of all his struggles in existence, he always put adore first,” his spouse Maya Soto mentioned. “I think there are a ton of persons who uncovered about enjoy and acceptance from him, and he created a local community of this kind of caring and supportive men and women right here simply because of who he was.”

Kontein’s entire body was discovered this past 7 days immediately after going lacking in October. Kontein, 26, liked to swim and was very last observed on the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 26, when surveillance cameras pictured him parking his black 2016 Toyota Corolla at 31st Avenue Seashore and going for walks west to Lake Michigan for a dip in the drinking water.

Kontein’s physique was retrieved from the lake on Nov. 4 and was officially determined Monday, Nov. 8. The case is at this time remaining treated as a basic drowning.

Kontein had a quite energetic lifestyle he beloved drinking water and the outside, and he frequented the lake to swim.

“He was really fully commited to fitness and individual development and he was always making an attempt to press himself and come across new difficulties or adventures,” Soto explained.

Soto described her husband as a fiercely motivated and deeply caring guy.

“He was just that sort of individual who was generally attempting to present people today treatment and appreciate anytime he could,” she mentioned.

Kontein introduced light and pleasure to all people who arrived into his existence.

“He was absolutely a person of those persons that left an impression or memory with just about every one man or woman he met,” Soto stated.

The Nigerian-born Kontein moved to Chicago to go to DePaul on a national scholarship, and he graduated with a degree in sociology in 2017.

“He arrived to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2014 with mainly absolutely nothing and had to construct himself a life from scratch,” Soto mentioned. “He labored so challenging just to survive with quite small assistance, and nonetheless constantly observed approaches to help other individuals and be there for folks when they ended up in need.”

His professors at DePaul remember him fondly.

“He was a stand out university student in so many spots and possessed the sort of characteristics that you hope and wish for in your learners — sharp, keen, curious, and keen to place in the function,” claimed Tracey Lewis-Elligan, associate professor of sociology.

Lewis-Elligan taught Kontein in a class  on the meanings, continuity and adjustments of family.

“Oribi would usually discuss about his experiences escalating up in Nigeria and his strong link to his spouse and children,” she reported. “He admired his family and frequently expressed how he wished to make them proud.”

After DePaul, Kontein’s solid perform ethic drove him to go to therapeutic massage college and get started his very own observe.

“He was normally entrepreneurial and had his have way of imagining and carrying out items, so it created sense to me that he’d want to be his individual manager,” Soto claimed. “When he acquired into therapeutic massage treatment it was distinct that he had a expertise for it, but it took way far more determination for him to truly make it his occupation. The way he crafted a productive therapeutic massage enterprise all on his possess, in just a few a long time of working towards, was truly remarkable.”

“Everyone who met or knew him by way of his massage operate realized how pushed and gifted he was,” Soto continued. “I was so proud of his advancement and I know he was happy of how significantly he’d come… I know it intended a large amount to him to feel like he truly built it.”

As really hard as he labored, Kontein usually had enjoyable.

“He was the life of the place,” stated Sabrina Odigo, who initial met him when the team was preparing to depart for the U.S. “There was no time you would not see him smiling.”

Kontein fostered neighborhood at DePaul, as well, with a potent group of mates. He even satisfied his spouse at the school: The pair satisfied when they each labored at the Ray.

“He introduced food stuff he cooked to work and he let me check out some and I genuinely favored it, and then soon after that he would deliver me added foods to consume pretty much just about every day,” Soto claimed.

Kontein and a group of other Nigerian pupils lived collectively in the University Heart housing downtown. In the group, Kontein stood out for his adore of food stuff. In accordance to a person friend, if there was food items, Kontein would find a way to be there.

“Sometimes we literally would be like, ‘Oh, are you coming about?’ And he’s like, ‘No, I can’t,’ recounted Odigo. “I [would be] like, ‘But I have meals!’ and then he’d be like ‘Okay, ok, I’m coming around.’”

He would afterwards distribute this enjoy of food stuff to buddies, relatives and strangers with a normal sequence of wellness gatherings referred to as Therapeutic massage Me Whilst I Try to eat.

Kontein and pal Tena Guwor, a chef, arrived alongside one another for the typical target of “healing bodies and feeding bellies.” At the situations, Kontein would provide aromatherapy, information and meditation, when Guwor, a chef, would make a entire menu for individuals to love.

The mates even brought the initiative to homeless shelters in the region, packing foods and presenting massages for people in an Uptown shelter.

“He was just that form of individual who was constantly striving to exhibit people treatment and adore each time he could,” Soto mentioned. “He continue to located time to do a good deal of free of charge perform for causes or corporations he cared about far too, and that was a huge component of his heart.”

Kontein’s “joie de vivre,” humor and enthusiasm were clear in the connections he manufactured with absolutely everyone he fulfilled.

“He also experienced a form of vitality, especially when he was thrilled or laughing, that was so shiny and goofy that you couldn’t help but chuckle or at the very least smile just from getting all-around him,” Soto explained.

“His interactions have been guided by kindness,” Lewis-Elligan explained. “I witnessed it when he achieved my two sons, who were youthful at the time. In the far too-short conversation he lit up their globe.”

Earlier mentioned all, Kontein will be remembered for his pleasure and positivity.

“I imagine we should really all keep in mind for the mild that he was, the joy that he brought to us and the contentment that he stuffed the room with when he obtained in, with his smile, with his striving to dance, with his enthusiasm,” Odigo said.“To know him is to know pleasure at some point.”