Declin Ermer, former star athlete of Wheaton Warrenville South, gives gift of life after fatal fall on deck at University of Montana

Friends and family members came out on Friday to remember and honor a young man who died after a tragic fall.

Declin Ermer, a former high school athlete at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, was remembered for his personality and life-saving gifts.

Ermer died earlier this month after falling from a deck onto the sidewalk below while on college at the University of Montana.

“It could happen to anyone, but you always thought it was going to be someone else,” said Eric Irmer, his father.

His death hit his family and friends hard. Many reached out to his family to share stories.

“There are people all over the country who told us stories of his kindness that we didn’t know about,” his mother, Laura Townsend, said.

Ermer was a star athlete at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, where he played volleyball, soccer, and basketball.

“He had a lot of people that he touched in all three sports,” said Mike Healy, athletic director at Wheaton Warrenville South. “He was one of those great kids.”

Friends said he was also a great teammate. One of his most memorable basketball games was against rival Witton North, where he stood his ground defensively and took charge three times, doing the dirty work to help his team win. This selfless trait will be part of his legacy. Irmer and his family chose to donate his organs.

“In the end, with handkerchiefs and all,” said his father, “there were seven people whose lives were saved or benefited.”

His mother said, “He’ll be there forever. He’s my angel. He’ll live.”

Several people who know Ermer from Wheaton and Warrenville South will attend his memorial service on Sunday afternoon. In fact, more than 500 people are expected.

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