LAWTON, Okla. – As they tried to hold back tears, friends of Michael Raper say that he had an infectious laugh and was one of the most caring people they had ever met. They say he loved to dance and was always there to help. Although it was painful for them, they each wanted to share what they will miss most about their dear friend.
"It was a dream. I just, I couldn't believe it," said friend of Raper, Alisha Howarton.
"I didn't break until I got to really thinking about it. I didn't believe it. I was like, ‘No, he's not gone he's not gone.' Then when it was confirmed, I broke," said Bre' Anna Crow.
Crow has known Raper for 11 years. She says she is still in shock over his death. Raper, 26, was cleaning a piece of equipment at his job on Tuesday when he got trapped in it. He died the next day. Crow says she wants people to remember him for how he lived and not how he died.
"Michael was the most loving, caring person. He would give you the shirt right off his back. He would give you his last dollar. He was a great friend," said Crow.
Chris Roberts had not known Raper for long, but he says that did not stop Raper from trying to help him.
"I had no place to go at one time. He turned around and he goes ‘My home is open.' He goes, ‘You got a floor to lay on, you got a couch to sleep on. Anywhere you need to lay.' He goes, ‘I am here for you,'" said Roberts.
And that is exactly how these friends say they will remember Raper.
"[He was] an amazing person. He would do anything for anyone. He would, he will be missed," said Howarton.
"To me he was like an angel sent from up above," said Roberts.
Crow says she also finds comfort in a song.
"Please Remember Me by Tim McGraw. Me, Michael and a bunch of our other friends always said if anything ever happened, in our memory, we wanted that song played," said Crow.
The funeral for Raper will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Faith Temple Church in Duncan. Friends of the deceased say that anyone who would like to come to his memorial is welcome. They are also asking that people driving in Duncan honk their horns once in memory of Michael Raper.