DRAPER (ABC4 Utah News) – Sean Thayne’s family says his final act was typical of his life. The 30 year old man died Monday while trying in vain to save two people he didn’t know.
4 year old London DeDios and her mother Brenda DeDios died after being swept away in the Provo River.
“He was always selfless, willing to give his all to help those he loved,” Sean’s brother in law James Gentry read from a family statement Tuesday.
Sean was a computer programmer for a company called Playground Sessions but to his family he was so much more.
“Sean was a loving, brave and selfless man. At 6’3″, he looked over and looked out for all of us,” Gentry read. “He had an infectious smile that couldn’t help but spread, especially when he was trying to win an argument with you.”
Sean’s boss and friend Chris Vance spoke about him Tuesday from New York.
“He died the way that he was – helping others and being there for others and putting people first. And that doesn’t surprise me at all. Whether he was able to reach that girl or not, I think she probably knew that Sean was in there trying to help. And I think that’s how he lived his life and for us that got to know him that way we are better people for it.”
“Sean was a student of the world, he loved to learn, travel, expand his horizons,” Gentry said. “And he loved to meet new people and had a keen mind.”
That mind drove him to learn a new language which led Sean to the love of his life.
“Sean was learning Chinese on the internet when he found his beautiful wife Xin-Li Thayne, known as Poppy,” Gentry said. ” Poppy wanted to share the following: ‘Sean was the nicest person in the world. He always told me I was his walking diamond. He told me he was mine and always would be. To the world he was a hero but to me he was just Sean and now he’s gone’.”
The family has established a Sean Thayne Memorial Fund to help Poppy. Donations can be made at America First Credit Union or online at: https://www.gofundme.com/sean-thayne-fund
Donations for the DeDios Family can be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/zp7c8-our-angels