The community returned from midwinter break Monday to shocking and sad news: Senior Damien Dorre, 17, of Southfield died on Friday.
In addition to taking classes at Groves, Dorre also attended Oakland Schools Technical Campus in Waterford. He was inducted into the school's National Technical Honor Society last spring.
In an email to parents and students Sunday night, Groves principal Fred Proctor said the death was "sudden and unexpected," though the cause of death has not been released.
According to his obituary on the A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home website, Dorre was a "kid at heart" that loved tacos, fishing, bow hunting, Frisbee golf, bike rides, Skittles and old school Nintendo games. A talented artist, Dorre was known for remembering lines from movies and bringing a "smile to everyone's face."
"There were many things that brought Damien great joy, but nothing more than the love of his family and friends," the obituary reads. "He was always looking to play a game or just simply do something fun with someone."
There has been an outpouring of support on the Desmond & Sons website for the Dorre family, with more than 30 entries so far in the online guest book.
"The spirit of (Mother Teresa's) message is embodied in all that Damien did," Alex Fuller, from Ypsilanti writes. "He gave selflessly, and put great love into everything he did. Through his example he has taught us how to love one another."
Proctor said Dorre's death is particularly troubling to him as he views each Groves student as one of his own children.
"Let's face it, I'm everyone's surrogate dad, especially from 7:30 to 2:45. Their safety and well-being is very much a priority so this is difficult to endure," Proctor said.
"I often share a word with you about hugging your child or staying connected or sharing a positive word with them," he added. "We never truly know what our young people are thinking but they need to know that we are there to help them with anything that they may encounter. Hug them often and cherish the gift that they are to our lives. Let them know that they are a gift to us as well — a gift that we never want to lose."
Grief counselors will be available all day Monday, and throughout the week, for students, staff and parents, Proctor said. In addition, Proctor addressed Groves students via the classroom televisions Monday morning, and staff members are being equipped to help students as well.
Dorre is survived by his parents, David and Rosemarie, and his brother David and sister Angel. His mother currently works as the cafeteria manager at .
The visitation will be held from noon until 8 p.m. Monday at the in Royal Oak. A prayer service will be at 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Beverly Hills. Visitation at church begins 9:30 a.m.
Memorial tributes may be made to the Michigan Humane Society.