EUGENE, Ore. -- A Eugene native who devoted his life to teaching and travel died on Sunday while rescuing a drowning child in Micronesia.
Lee Huddleston, 30, who graduated from Willamette High School and the University of Oregon, was teaching on the tiny island of Moch. That's about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii.
His family says Huddleston was teaching on the island when he took a group of students for a beach picnic. A young boy began struggling in the waves when Huddleston jumped in to save him.
After rescuing the child, Huddleston suffered a heart episode and died on the beach.
"He touched a lot of hearts," Anne Huddleston, Lee's stepmother, said. "He's a hero to them and to us."
Before working in Micronesia, Huddleston also worked in Peru and Kazakhstan.