USF Mourns the Loss of Two Graduates in Past Two Weeks

Students Say Goodbye to Nick Votaw ‘13, The Cowboy on Campus

Nick Votaw

(Photo by Melissa Stihl)

Nick Votaw lost his battle to cancer this past Sunday, February 9. Votaw, who graduated with a BA in Economics in May 2013, hoped to start a career with the California Fire Department, he said. He was currently working as a tutor at his old high school, Bellarmine College prepatory, in San Jose, California.

“Nick was an incredible guy,” said senior business administration major Aryan Azizian. “I’ve honestly never met a more selfless person in my entire life. He was always thinking about others, which is something I think we can all learn from Nick,” he said.

Votaw was known on campus for sporting his signature cowboy hat and for offering a cheerful, “See ya, partner,” to his friends and acquaintances.

“He was just a fantastic guy; strong, brave, wise, and had one hell of a sense of humor,” Azizian said. “I think his love and kindness will live on in everyone that he met. I feel very lucky and privileged to have known him and call[ed] him my best friend.

Matt Miller, junior media studies major, “There aren’t really any words. Rest in peace to one of the most kindhearted, genuine people to have walked this Earth. We love and miss you, Votaw.”

 USF Remembers Alum Raymond Basilio ‘11 with Memorial Service 

Raymond Basilio, who graduated in 2011 with a BA in psychology, passed away at the end of last month, on January 31. Students were able to honor Basilio at a memorial service held on campus yesterday, Wednesday February 12.

Resident Advisor (RA) and dedicated member of University Ministry, USF Voices, national fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, and Filipino-American cultural club Kasamahan during his time at USF, Basilio is remembered throughout campus as an active and involved leader and friend.

“He loved everything he did,” said Tala Dayyat, a USF senior. “No one could escape his smile; it was contagious. Honestly, the most loving person you can run into.”

USF alumn Joseph Emde ‘12 worked with Basilio as an RA for a couple of years. “He was a great guy that was always in a good mood. No one had anything bad to say about him ever,” he said.

Basilio was working as a rehabilitation counselor for Progress Foundation, a non-profit that serves adults with mental illness, and had plans to go to graduate school.

USF graduate Aida Martinez ‘12, said “He will be wholeheartedly missed, especially his beautiful singing, energy, and his celebration of life.”

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2 thoughts on “USF Mourns the Loss of Two Graduates in Past Two Weeks”

  1. Thank you for writing such a wonderful story about Nick Votaw, my nephew. Words were never truer about this soft spoken, yet determined young man who was so kind and generous to everyone he came in contact with. Always caring about others and never complainted about what he had been dealt regarding his illness. He had a great sense of humor and a passion for the less fortunate and elderly. I am so proud to be among those who knew him well and so proud of what he accomplished in his short life. He will be remembered by so many and left a footprint that will never be erased. I will miss him so much and hope that I can live by his example. Farewell my sweet nephew and now you have a new road to pave with those you have now joined in your heavenly home. ❤️❤️❤️ Auntie Connie

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