Classmates, Teachers And Friends Remember The Life Of East Texas Student

Wednesday, Dustin Sims strummed a tune on his guitar--a tune inspired by the life, and sudden death, of a dear friend.

Those closest to James Compton, 16, remembered him best not just as a good student, but also a good person.

"He was always there if I needed help doing something," said Erin Huffman, James' girlfriend.

Colton Sheffield said James was one of the only friends around whom he could be himself.

James was a friend who wore many hats: he was a leader in the Bullard High School Band and first chair trumpet player.  He was also a close and personal confidant.

"We talked about everything, and he's probably the only person I do that with," said Zachary Clark.

Friends said the name James and the words "dedicated" and "hardworking" went hand in hand.

"If he was told to do something, or asked to do something, he was going to do it," said Judson Watkins, a fellow band member.  "And if he didn't know how to do it, he would ask how to do it."

James made sure he was the best at everything he did; he was someone who truly loved life.

"He always had a smile, always would laugh," said Gary Jordan, band director at Bullard High School.  "He'd make you laugh just from him laughing."

And though his first chair is now empty, the life he led--the person and friend he was--has now become an inspiration.

"We want to honor him by not only honoring his memory and what he meant to us, but by making our lives just count for more," said Jordan

Layron Livingston, Reporting.