UCSB student Andee Banrasavong died on May 5 in her home in Goleta. She was 22 years old.
Although the cause of death has not been verified, Banrasavong’s friends have speculated that she died from a brain aneurysm. As of press time, the Isla Vista Foot Patrol had no conclusive information to offer on the cause of death. The fourth-year sociology major and education minor was a Bible study teacher and member of the Asian American Christian Fellowship.
According to friends and family, a benefit concert will be held in Banrasavong’s honor on May 28 in her hometown of Banning, Calif. “Rockin’ for Andee” will feature a number of bands including How We Became Giants and Deceive the Dead.
According to friend Preston Lee, a third-year philosophy major, Banrasavong’s death was shocking and tragic.
“It was completely random,” Lee said. “Earlier in the day she wasn’t feeling the best so she ditched class and just relaxed. Her fiancé came back and she was already on the floor within the span of an hour or two. No one expected it at all.”
Scarlette Novoa, a fourth-year sociology major and Banrasavong’s roommate of four years, said Banrasavong’s tenacity to overcome life’s challenges and ability to make light of any situation were evident to all who met her.
“She always tried to make light of the situation and knew how to make people laugh,” Novoa said. “She will be missed by all whose lives she touched.”
Additionally, Novoa said her friend’s light-hearted spirit was contagious while her commitment to the AACF was inspiring.
“She was always smiling and very welcoming to everyone she met,” Novoa said. “She was a committed member of AACF and a wonderful friend. It was very hard not to be in a good mood when she was around.”
Even though she had her flaws, friend Jerry Wang, a fourth-year business economics major, said in an e-mail that Banrasavong was considered perfect by her peers because there was “evidence of God’s grace in the way she lived.”
“We became very good friends during the Freshmen Summer Start Program and even though it was only a span of two months, I felt like the quality of our friendship exceeded that of many of my friendships in the past,” Wang said. “She became an incredibly dear sister to me and I truly cherished our friendship. She was an incredible listener and anyone who knew me back in freshmen year knows that I like talking, maybe a little too much.”
Furthermore, Lee said Banrasavong always put other people’s needs before her own.
“She was definitely one of those people that everyone liked,” Lee said. “One of the most genuine, sweetest people. Because we are in a Christian fellowship, we all know that she is up in heaven with God.”
Banrasavong recently became engaged to her high school sweetheart, Armando Quinn Reynoso. The couple was set to marry next year in Banning on June 15.
Services were held at Weaver Mortuary Chapel in Beaumont, Calif. on May 11. Banrasavong was laid to rest in Banning.
She is survived by her parents Viengkhone and Boonthanh Banrasavong, sister Kathleen and fiancé Reynoso. Banrasavong’s family could not be reached as of press time.