Conner Joseph Firstman, 21, entered the arms of Jesus whom he loved, March 1, 2014 after fighting cancer like a Bobcat for four years. Conner was born Kim, Sung Ho, in Kangwondo, South Korea on July 15, 1992. He was gifted to his parents Mary Anne (Basile) and Curtis Firstman, arriving home to Phoenix, Ariz. Dec. 5, 1992. The family moved to Beaverton, Ore. in 1995. Conner attended Elmonica Elementary School, Rachel Carson Middle School and graduated from Westview High School in 2010. Conner grew up going to Bozeman to visit his grandparents, Joe and Hilda Basile. Because of his love for Montana, he chose to attend Montana State University where he was studying film. Conner lived with his best roommate, Grandpa Joe. Conner was a videographer for MSU Athletics and wanted nothing more than to share his passion for his Bobcats by documenting and creating films to highlight the athletes he so loved. His heart's desire was to graduate from MSU and work for Bobcat Athletics, Root Sports or ESPN. He truly embodied the motto "Film Like a Champion" (FLC) in all areas of his life.
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Conner had a big presence, lighting up every room with his smile and huge contagious laugh. He could talk to anyone, anytime about anything. He loved helping others as evidenced in part by his five missions trips to Mexico with the Cedar Mill Bible Church youth group, where he also documented those trips through film. Conner was passionate about cooking and eating, hunting, music and all things sports, particularly the New England Patriots, Portland Timbers & Trailblazers, and above all, his beloved MSU Bobcats. Conner's life evidenced his love of Christ, his family and his friends. He loved well and was well loved.
Conner was preceded in death by his grandmother, Hilda Basile and grandparents, Walter and Lee Firstman. Conner is survived by his parents, Curtis and Mary Anne, brother, Seth and sisters, Paige and Erin of Beaverton, Ore.; his Grandpa Joe Basile of Bozeman; his uncles, aunts and cousins: Ron and Joyce Basile, Emily, Chloe and Ian of Portland, Ore.; Mike and Shauna Basile, Alex, Matt and Madison of Missoula, Mont.; Barbara and Don Kaplan, Danielle and Andrew of Seal Beach, Calif.; and Bruce Firstman. Conner is also survived by many extended family members and close friends he considered family.
The Firstman family is grateful beyond words for the thousands of people who have prayed, encouraged and supported them along this journey. Your kindness will never be forgotten.
Celebrations of Conner's life will be held Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 1 p.m. at Cedar Mill Bible Church, 12208 NW Cornell Rd., Portland, Ore. and at Montana State University in Bozeman on Saturday, April 26, 2014; details to follow.
Should you wish to honor Conner's memory, donations may be made to the Conner Firstman "Film Like a Champion" Scholarship with checks payable to MSUAF (Conner Firstman FLC Scholarship in the memo line). Mail to MSUAF, PO Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717.
Donations may also be made for scholarships for youth group Mexico missions trips with checks payable to Cedar Mill Bible Church, 12208 NW Cornell Rd., Portland, OR 97229.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Mar. 9, 2014