Friends and family are remembering the life of 31-year-old Michael Nance, a former Bachelorette contestant who died in Austin earlier this week.
Nance was found unresponsive at a residence in South Austin Monday morning after Austin police said they were dispatched to the 300 block of West Mary Street at 2:10 a.m. There, officers found Nance. He was pronounced dead at 2:54 a.m.
Austin police said they do not believe the death is suspicious. The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office has not yet publicly released his cause of death.
Nance was a contestant on Season 8 of the Bachelorette. At the time, his occupation was as a rehab counselor.
Jacob Levenson with Map Health Management in Austin employed Nance for just under two years at the company. It provides health services and treatment support programs to addiction treatment providers.
Levenson said Nance helped hundreds of families. He describes Nance as “very gentle,” an “old soul,” “very upbeat” and “instantly made you feel better.”
His friends said Nance used his musical abilities to help some feel better.
“A wonderful musician,” said Katie Sherman, 27. “He used those gifts to help other people along the way.”
Sherman said Nance helped her during treatment for her drug addiction.
“He really sort of acted as a pillar of strength for me until I could sort of stand and walk on my own,” Sherman said. “He was very instrumental in encouraging me to pick my pieces up and just keep going.”
She is now struggling to express words in light of Nance’s death.
“When I found out about Michael, it really left me groveling for words,” Sherman said. “I just couldn’t really put enough words together to describe how I felt. It was shocking."
Levenson said among those who knew Nance – “our guts are ripped out.”