The media portrayal of Adam Razani earlier this week indicated a troubled man who used Facebook to foreshadow his death.
But inside Mission Hills Church on Saturday morning, friends and family painted a different picture.
Good-humored, caring, compassionate, loyal and loving. All those qualities came to light in anecdotes from emotional friends and family.
Earlier in the week, Razani’s set off a manhunt in Trabuco Canyon. An Orange County sheriff's deputy later discovered him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
If Razani felt alone or troubled, it would have been hard to notice among the more than 200 people who attended his funeral in Mission Viejo.
Razani, 25, lay in a closed casket draped with an American flag that was later given to his parents at El Toro Memorial Park by a colleague in the U.S. Air Force.
Razani had recently finished a tour in Afghanistan and was readjusting to civilian life.
He was the oldest of two children, a son and a daughter, born to Mike and Manzar Razani of Aliso Viejo.
Mona Razani took the pulpit and was reduced to tears almost immediately after introducing herself: “I’m Adam’s little sister.” Her father went to her side and placed a hand on her as she composed herself and spoke from prepared notes and her heart.
“He always made people laugh; he had an internal sweet soul,” Mona said. “Adam put our needs before his own.”
She talked about her brother’s love for animals and music, and his deep devotion to friends and family. She was not alone.
“Adam was the glue to our little crew, making sure everyone stuck together and was really happy,” said Bryan Santana, who was for awhile Razani’s supervisor in the Air Force.
Espe Cantlay, who was an administrator at Aliso Niguel High, where Razani graduated in 2005, addressed his parents directly: “You raised a beautiful son, kind and compassionate, a man who served his country … and you should be so proud of the impact he had in his life.”
Before joining the Air Force, Razani graduated from Saddleback College in 2008.
Between speakers, videos of Razani playing guitar or dancing with fellow airmen were shown, along with photos of him and family.
On either side of the casket were images of Razani, and amid tall flower arrangements of white lilies and roses were his electric guitar and keyboard.
Although a number of people spoke inside the church during an open mike period, the fond recollections continued afterward.
“My fondest memory about Adam was when were walking to the movie theaters and all of a sudden he exploded in laughter and funny noises and ran away from us,” said friend Nick Harris. “We would run after him and try to catch him, but he was always too fast for us.”
The morning service and afternoon burial were difficult for Razani’s mother, who clutched the dark blue blue casket at the gravesite.
“His mother told me the other night that she loved Adam more than herself,” said Maryam Emamian, Razani’s aunt. “Having Adam in her life taught her how to love a true love.”