Niki Piano remembers sitting in Erik Nistad's living room last Friday, laughing and eating Oreo cookies with the Penn State student and talking with his mother.
"I would eat the inside of it and he would eat the cookie," said Piano, Nistad's longtime friend and neighbor.
It was the day before Nistad's 21st birthday, and he made plans with his mother to have a big dinner and go shopping Saturday, Piano said.
But Nistad, a Milford resident, was killed early Saturday morning when his car hit a tree while he was driving on a road near his home, his sister Kathleen Nistad said.
Police could not release any information about the crash as of press time Monday. Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon wrote in an e-mail Monday that he didn't have more details on Nistad's death.
A junior at Penn State's University Park campus, Nistad had aspired to become a police officer and eventually join the FBI, his sister said.
"He would do anything for anyone, no matter what," Kathleen Nistad said. "He wanted to help everybody."
It's a quality many mentioned after his funeral Monday, and a role he embraced last year when his sister's son was born, Kathleen Nistad said.
He helped take care of his nephew for about six weeks after the birth, and he always insisted on helping his own mother, she said.
"I think it made him feel good to take care of her," Kathleen Nistad said.
Danielle Dezenzo, Nistad's friend of almost seven years, recalled a trip to New York City she made with him several years ago. During the trip, Nistad did whatever he could to entertain Dezenzo's younger sister, she said -- even letting her put "all kinds of hair clips" in his hair.
When he wasn't taking care of people, Nistad enjoyed sports and cooking, his sister said.
"He always dreamed of playing baseball," she said.
After a funeral service Monday afternoon, the nearly 200 friends and family in attendance shared their memories of the Penn State student, a security and risk analysis major.
Nistad's sister stood back and listened as others spoke about her brother and the things he used to say. "I kind of just listened today," she said.
It'll take time, she said, for the family to recover.
"We're all doing pretty well," Kathleen Nistad said. "It's going to be a long process."