Joe Nihill, 23, was described as one of the 'brightest souls to walk this Earth' by his friend Alexander Chubb, 21.
Joe, from Whinmoor in Leeds, died on April 4.
A fundraising page has been set up in his memory and over £1,000 has been donated towards funeral costs and to support his family.
Joe was a former cadet who studied a computer related university course in Leeds, Alexander said.
Alex told the Yorkshire Evening Post: he was 'without doubt one of the brighest souls to walk this earth'.
He added: "He could light up any room he walked in to, and had a knack for cheering people up.
"He was funny, caring and selfless, the true embodiment of kindness.
"Unfortunately Joe passed away leaving a huge hole in everyone's life.
"All we want is to give Joe the send off he deserves, the send off of someone who is truly amazing, someone who truly mattered in this world."
Joe's mum Catherine Adenekan said he would make the family laugh 'everyday, no matter how was feeling'.
She added: "A smile on our faces is what he wanted to see."
Joe lived in Leeds all of his life and made many friends through school and his time in the cadets, Alexander added.
Recently, Joe worked in a fish and chip bar in the city.
He said: "When people die, their friends often say they lit up the room.
"For Joe, this was exactly what he was like.
"He truly did light up every room he went in.
"He never argued with anyone
"It is so sad."
More than 60 people have donated to a fundraising page dedicated to Joe in just five days.
Alexander added: "We are hoping to create a legacy for Joe.
"The money will go towards supporting his family for funeral costs.
"In the future, we hope to set something up in his memory with the cadets."
To donate to the fundraising page, click here._______________
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