A vibrant smile. An infectious laugh. A goofy, fun-loving personality.
That’s how Harlee Deborski, 19, of southwest Las Vegas, was remembered as he was laid to rest Sunday afternoon, just over a week after his death.
Deborski and his friend Timothy Bailey, 19, were fatally shot Aug. 3 in the northwest valley.
The shooting suspect, 19-year-old Chance Underwood, was arrested Thursday and faces two counts of murder. He is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
“This sucks; let’s just be real,” family friend Conrad Phillips said to open a funeral ceremony at Davis Funeral Homes, 6200 S. Eastern Ave. Hundreds of friends and family flooded the center, filling all the seats, sitting on the floor and cramming into the hallways to celebrate Deborski’s life.
The biggest takeaway: He was a great kid who loved like no other.
“Harlee made a far-reaching impact here on Earth,” his stepmother, Amanda Deborski, said. “We can only imagine the impact he’ll make among the stars.”
According to his stepmother, Harlee woke up every morning to the smell of whatever breakfast his dad was cooking. Each morning, like clockwork, he would race down the stairs and greet his dad with, “Good morning, Beautiful. How are you doing? What kind of snacks are going down?”
“Hello Beautiful,” was printed on black T-shirts that were handed out to and worn by most guests at the funeral.
Harlee’s dad, Jason Deborski, said his son was his best friend. The two worked together at Nfinite Entertainment, Jason’s audiovisual company.
Many employees from the company shared stories about Harlee rising through the ranks of the company, starting as just the owner’s kid and becoming a leader.
Charles Moore said he had worked with Deborski for a few years and admired his youthful energy. He said that one of the first times he worked with Harlee, he was rolling on a floor dolly like it was a scooter.
“I had to pull him to the side and say, ‘No, kid, that’s not what we do,’” Moore said. “And he was so crushed by it because he was getting the job done in a more efficient way and it just made sense.”
Moore said Harlee was always trying to do better, asking for advice and criticism. He said that the last time the two worked together he gave Harlee some critiques and was met with, “I will do better, I promise. Just you watch.”
Many of Harlee’s high school classmates shared memories, including studying for government class together, ditching health class and starting rap battles at bonfires. But the same message rang through: Harlee never failed to make people feel like family.
Scott Hills said he was homeless when he met Harlee as a junior in high school.
He said that he had been stabbed and nearly died two weeks before graduation and that Harlee was the person who reached out to him the most and blew up his phone with offers to help.
“He didn’t deserve this at all,” Hills said. “But he made me appreciate my life more than ever.”
Jason Deborski plans a candlelight vigil to honor his son and Bailey at 8 p.m. Monday at Desert Breeze Park, 8275 Spring Mountain Road.
Deborski said that no story could encapsulate all that his son was but that the funeral ceremony showed just how loved Harlee was.
“He was just happy about everything, and if somebody was feeling down, he’d always manage to bring them back up,” Deborski said. “The world is missing a beautiful soul.”
Contact Alexis Egeland at email@example.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexis_egeland on Twitter.