About 700 people, young and old, packed The Home Church on Winchester Boulevard in Campbell Saturday afternoon to celebrate the life of .
The memorial service for Daou, , featured favorite Bible readings and musical selections from Daou’s piano teacher identified only as "Samia."
His best friend, Ben Moreno, with father Hector Moreno, of Campbell, shared memories of the 22-year-old Valley Christian High School graduate who was loved by friends and family for his kind and noble spirit.
“He had his Bible with him all the time, as well as his water bottle, which was probably his best friend,” said Ben Moreno, as the crowd chuckled.
The Morenos told fond stories of the high school basketball standout who was attending the University of San Diego and who once put ketchup and mustard packets under his high school basketball coach’s feet as a prank. They also recalled how he liked to make vocal impressions of celebrity sports pundit Jim Rome.
The father and son also shared a more serious side of Daou, which was his strong faith in God and how his belief in a divine Creator was strengthened through his battle with cancer.
Andrew had been diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma three years ago. The cancer is said to have recurred, but it had gone into remission. While dealing with the treatments, friends remembered how the muscular and dark-haired and dark-eyed young man lost his hair as he underwent chemotherapy treatments.
“I think at first God had a plan for you, and this was a first step," said Hector Moreno. “You were at peace because you were secure with the Lord.”
Daou’s girlfriend, Tessa Furtado, continued the string of eulogies with testimony of her boyfriend’s strong faith in God.
“I had the honor of being Andrew’s first, and last girlfriend,” Furtado said. “I saw his strength in God, and it was his second battle with cancer that sealed our love with each other."
Furtado summoned the crowd to continue Daou’s legacy of trusting and living for God.
“This is Andrew’s legacy,” Furtado said. “We’re going to take this torch and run with it. Andrew’s life was worth this.”
Home Church Pastor Mike Kiley, a well-known local Christian minister for more than three decades, presided over the service and ended by stating, “we have all been enriched with the life of Andrew.”
He added: "Andrew represents a generation of young men who are passionate about their faith in Christ and they are the people that can change the world we live in because they manifest the love of God,"
Daou was active in multi-generational home Bible study group and, two days before his death, had started a scripture study group with about 10 other young men who met at the home of Ben Moreno.
Valley Christian High School graduate and longtime friend and classmate of Daou's, Eddie Ibanez, said he came to the service to pay his respects to Daou.
“He was the kind of person who was always happy and always positive,” Ibanez said. “I can’t even put it into words.”
The service was attended by Andrew's mother, Carmen Hamady Daou, sister Christina Daou, girlfriend Tessa Furtado, several best friends, uncles, aunts and cousins.
After the service, they followed Daou to his final resting place at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos for a graveside ceremony, which was followed by a reception at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose.
"Even in the midst of all the grief and sorrow, there's hope because we believe in the sovereignty of God," pastor Kiley said. "He had such a vibrant a faith. He was a true inspiration and a man who was not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and shared in the most natural way his love for others."