TEMPLE, Texas — "I just want you to know you mattered. And you mattered more than just to me," Lee Ann Baize, Rowdy Mays' mother, said.
Rowdy Mays was a son, uncle, brother and a friend -- a man who always wanted to help.
On July 28th, 2022 that was all stripped away.
"I love how Rowdy was being kind. But, oh how I wish he had driven past that man that day," Baize said.
Mays helped a stranger by giving him a ride, but Temple police say the hitchhiker killed Mays and took off with his truck.
Growing up with his mom, grandma and nephew, Mays had a kind soul … even for the little things.
"Rowdy kept my mama stocked in Dr. Peppers, kept Kyle stocked in chicken strips and pizza and whatever else he needed," Baize said. "He loved, he often just thought that he had us – me and my mama as his family – but he had so much more."
His family and friends gathered to celebrate his life and honor the legacy he leaves behind.
"This is just going to be about us being together, lifting each other up, learning about my son, celebrating his life and sharing it with as many people as we can," Baize said.
Rowdy's mother, Lee Ann Baize, is trying to keep her spirits stable during these difficult times.
"For those of us who have kind of lost faith in mankind ... I lost my heart, my sweet sweet boy. But, there are still good people out there. I want justice for my son, but I don't want hatred and I don't want people attacking this mans family – or anything like that," Baize said.
His mother has so much she wishes she could tell her son, but promises she will not let him become forgotten.
"I love you my son. You are always my baby and I'm always going to do things to honor your memory," Baize said. "People will still know you until I leave this earth."
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