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Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad

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maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Dutch passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 graduated from a South Florida school.

His former school reported Kevin Jesurun, 43, was a graduate of Palmer Trinity in Miami in 1990.

After high school, USA Today reported he attended college in Georgia at Mercer University.

Palmer Trinity is a co-ed private college prep school.

“Kevin is a free spirit a super-gregarious nice guy,” said with Peter Baumberger.  “He was a good friend and a good guy we had a very small class of 60 people, I think it was 58 specifically, and to think that somebody from our class was on that plane is just it was shocking.”

The Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down over the Ukraine July 17 killing all 298 people on board.

Buamberger told CBS4’s Maggie Newland the immensity of the tragedy was hard enough to grasp.   A day later, he realized he knew one of the victims.

“It’s so far away and how it happened is so unbelievably shocking and then to later learn that it’s one of your classmates. It’s just I was speechless I was absolutely speechless.”

Friends say Jesurun was living in Curacao and loved to travel all over the world.

“I know he traveled a lot and he was always in pictures of different countries that was something he obviously loved,” added Baumberger.

Friends started posting condolences on his Facebook page.

According to that Facebook page, he worked at Hugo Boss and lived in Willemstad, Curacao, but was born in Aruba.

Another Facebook page appeared in his name as the Kevin Jesurun World Peace Foundation with condolences too.

The school released this statement to alumni: It is with a heavy heart that we share the unfortunate news that one of our own alumni, Kevin Jesurun, Class of 1990 of Palmer School, was among the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. His classmates have remembered him with fondness and sweet memories. With all of our thoughts and prayers for his friends and family, we offer our deepest condolences and sympathy.

Also, a letter from a friend of Jesurun’s named Virgilio Guma was shared by the school.

A portion of it read: In 1990 the world was a much simpler place. Though the miles and time are between us since that time, our graduating class of fifty students at Palmer remain very close to this day. Kevin’s passing was a shock to us all and as Chris said best in his email to me and other fellow classmates this morning that broke the news; Kevin “personalized” this great tragedy for us all in a profound way.
Our hearts and prayers are with Kevin’s family and loved ones back in his native Curaçao. Rest in Peace Kevin. Your smile is sorely missed.

Among his Facebook photos, there is  one taken a couple of years ago in front of a memorial for the victims of another plane crash. The deadly Surinam airlines crash happened in 1989.

Now, friends across the world are grieving for Kevin Jesurun and remembering the times they shared in South Florida.

“We had a small high school and everybody knew each other and we’ll never forget,” said Baumberger.

Watch the report, click here.

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