FARGO — While so many are remembering Dane Sayers for his athleticism and MMA skills, his dad remembers a son.

His graduation was hot and miserable, but he received honors with his basic training.

Dale Sayers can talk about his son, Dane, for hours.

"He was the best son, he brought us a lot of joy - making us laugh, and giving us a different perspective on things," Dale Sayers said. "Part of his message was, he was very spiritual and a philosophical person who urged people to be kind to each other."

Dane was honored in Army boot camp, later becoming a platoon leader who later served in the Army Reserve.

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His death sent shock waves around the MMA community. The story even made headlines in New York and London papers. Dane fought under the name "Red Horse". He was proud of his Blackfeet Nation and Chippewa Tribe heritage.

"He had a warrior's heart from his Indian heritage," Dale Sayers said. "It has always been a part of his life, something that brought him a lot of pride."

For Dane's family, there is a lot to mourn. The fact Dane, who adored his 12-year-old son, Aden will no longer be around to see him grow up.

"He was a great dad, a very caring dad. His son was an important part of his life, and was so important to him," Dale Sayers said.

Dane died collecting driftwood along the river near Gooseberry and Lindenwood Park. No one is sure what happened, but his family knows it was a peaceful place he biked and walked. It will now be the venue for his celebration of life later this month. A life this father wants remembered.

"Bringing meaning, purpose and fulfillment to your life as well as contributing to the goodness of others, that was his message," Dale Sayers said.

The Sayers family has started a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral expenses. Donations can be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/dane-red-horse-sayers-memorial-fund?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer