Mother of Detroit Catholic Central football player who died in his sleep: 'I can't imagine life without David'

Family, community grieve the loss of 16-year-old David Widzinski

DETROIT - A family and community is grieving the loss of 16-year-old David Widzinski.

The Catholic Central High School sophomore will be remembered for his talents on the football field, his quick wit, but David's parents will always remember his larger than life personality.

--Barbara and Paul Widzinski

"He could always make anyone laugh," said Paul Widzinski, David's father. "He was silly, a jokester but he also was a leader."

UNCUT: Barbara and Paul Widzinski talk about David Widzinski

Viewing for David will be held Thursday at St. Kenneth Church in Plymouth from 12 p.m.-8 p.m. on north Haggerty Road.

The school will be closed Friday for students and mass will be held at 10 a.m. at Catholic Central High School.

Local 4 sat down with David's parents, "It's crushing, just crushing -- we're in a fog and going through the motions," Barbara Widzinski said from the family's home in Northville. "He went to bed at 11pm on Sunday," Paul said. "He set his alarm for 6am on Monday to go into school early and take a test, but his alarm kept going off and getting louder." Barbara went to wake David but that's when she discovered he had died in his sleep.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office is conducting an autopsy. Results are pending.

"He had broken his hand during the championship game against Cass tech," said Barbara. "We had taken him to several doctor appointments, he was in perfect health."

UNCUT: David Widzinski on the field for Detroit Catholic Central High School

--David Widzinski with his brother Stephen, parents and sister Emily

David was the youngest of three. He has a 17-year-old sister, Emily, a senior at Northville High School and an older brother Stephen, 20, a Michigan state University Student. The Catholic Central community along with David's parents kept the news of his death quiet until the family could tell Stephen, who was traveling back to Michigan Monday after participating in a mock trial at Yale over the weekend. David's mother and godmother sat in the family's office, going through pictures of David.

His football jersey, No. 33, was draped over the families couch. His dream was to play college football at Notre Dame University. "We've asked ourselves why, we want the answer, but we know we'll never get it," said Paul. "David was strong in his faith, we're strong in our faith, and God has a plan."

Catholic Central High School held a special mass and rosary in David's honor. His father Paul and sister Emily attended the mass Tuesday morning.

"Hundreds of young men dressed in suits all mourning our David," Paul said. "We received hundreds of hugs and prayers; the support from Catholic Central has been amazing." "I can't imagine life without David," his mother said.

In a statement on the school's website, Father John Huber, C.S.B. principal says, "The hearts of our CC community have been tugged in several different and painful directions over this past year. We are confident in the prayers, love and support of the greater community, as we have already experienced over this past year."

This is not the first time this year Catholic Central students have suffered a loss.

--Tanner Cipriano and his mother Rose

Senior defensive lineman Tanner Cipriano's brother, Tucker, is charged with murdering his dad, Robert, and severely beating his mom Rose in April. Another brother, Salvatore, was also severely beaten.

The family's oldest son, 19-year-old Tucker, and his friend, 20-year-old Mitchell Young, are charged in the attack.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Attack on Farmington Hills family

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