Every time his old teachers and classmates would tell me a story about Robert, the biggest smiles would come across their faces; the type of positivity that they say they'll carry with them always.
"He's just a people person. He made anybody feel well. He had that smile. He was just a good guy," Nancy Mathias said.
Nancy Mathias started working as a secretary at Arcola High School when Robert was a junior.
"Robert and his best friend Troy, would come in every morning, 'Good morning Mrs. Mathias, Good morning Mrs. Thompson.' And it was that quick, every morning, 'Good morning Mrs. Mathias, good morning Mrs. Thompson,'" Mathias said.
"He was a hoot. He was so much fun."
Robert was the class clown with hair that his classmates will never forget.
"I remember Robert as the skinny short kid with the afro hair and the big glasses," said classmate Lori Anderson.
He was in the Spanish and Chess clubs.
"He was somebody that we looked up to as wise and smart," said classmate Angie Gentry.
When he started at WCIA, his hometown was proud to watch him.
"He was silly, just a lot of fun. I think what you saw on TV is what we saw as students," Gentry said.
"He was a cool guy. Great personality, big jokester. I really loved watching him on TV because what you saw there is how he was. He was a genuine, real person," Anderson said.
"He's going to be greatly missed, but I know that he's in a peaceful place right now," Mathias said.
If you want to donate to the Reese family, contact the First bank in Tuscola at 253-2265 for the Reese Scholarship fund.