Hundreds showed up at Neptune Beach on Saturday to pay tribute to Obi the best way they knew how. They grabbed paddleboards and hit the water.
They held a special “Memorial Paddle Out” to honor him and uplift his family.
“Timmy was like Poseidon. He was about the ocean. That was his thing,” said Alex Jenkins a college friend of Obi. “He was just too much fun. He was always smiling. He wanted you to laugh. He was joy.”
Jenkins and Obi were close friends. They grew up together in Mandarin, were college roommates at the University of Florida and fraternity brothers in Alpha Tau Omega.
“[We] grew up on the river, always surfing, always around the water,” he said. “It was a passion that we share together. We took trips to Central America together, trips to the Caribbean together to surf.”
“He was larger than life,” Jenkins said. “He was truly one in 1 billion, not one in 1 million. This guy never knew a stranger. [He] was a friend to all he met. [He was] just a phenomenal person and amazing human being.”
Jenkins said there are plenty of ways to keep Obi’s legacy alive.
“Coming to the beach, surfing, spending time with his family,” he said. “Being there for his little boys as they grow up and try to be one of the people contributing as a positive male figure in their lives.”
A GoFundMe account set up for Obi’s family that will be a college fund for his three sons has raised more than $450,000 with donations still being made. Nearly 3,000 donors have contributed so far.