Paul Walker's Incredible Generosity Included Paying for an Iraq Vet's $9,000 Engagement Ring

Stories about the actor's selflessness are pouring in as he receives a video tribute from his Fast & Furious family

The Fast & Furious producers have made one last movie starring Paul Walker -- and it's a heartbreaker. A touching two-minute montage of the late actor's scenes was posted to YouTube yesterday, and has already been viewed more than 1.6 million times. Watch the video, set to P. Diddy's "I'm Coming Home," below.

Sniffle. The makers of the video are encouraging Walker's fans to make a donation to his disaster relief charity, Reach Out Worldwide, in Walker's memory. (The actor was attending a charity event to support relief efforts in the Philippines shortly before he died.) A portion of the proceeds from Fast & Furious 6 purchases (DVD, Blu-Ray and digital) will also be donated to Walker's organization.

As Walker's friends have been sharing their memories, his big heart comes up time and again.

"Paul was an enormous presence in my life for the past 14 years. While many would be satisfied with material success it made Paul more convinced of the need to help others," Walker's Fast & Furious love interest Jordana Brewster told Entertainment Weekly. "He never spoke of his immense generosity or philanthropic endeavors unless I prodded, however. This is what made Paul, Paul."

One of the most touching stories about Paul's generosity comes from a couple who didn't even know him. In 2004, Kyle Upham and his then-fiancee Kristen were shopping for an engagement ring at a Santa Barbara jewelry store. Walker was also in the store, and Kyle, who was about to be deployed to Iraq for a second tour of duty, struck up a conversation with him. (He didn't recognize the actor at the time.)

“When he found out Kyle just came back from Iraq -- I remember seeing the look in his face,” Kristen told CBS Los Angeles. “He kind of transformed.”

The couple left the store without purchasing the ring they wanted, which was out of their price range at $9,000. Then a saleswoman urged them to come back -- and presented them with the ring, paid for in full. It took them a while to figure out what had actually happened, since Walker made the gift anonymously. But after his death, they reached out to the jewelry store worker, who confirmed that Walker was behind the generous purchase.

“When we hand down the ring through the generations, there will always be a story to tell,” Kyle told the news outlet.


Those whose lives were touched by Walker can now take comfort in knowing that he didn't suffer. The coroner's office reports that he died within seconds of the Porsche crashing into a light pole and a tree (his friend was behind the wheel). They have yet to determine whether alcohol, speeding, or a car malfunction played a role in the tragedy.

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Donna Kaufman is a freelance writer and iVillage contributor. Find her on Twitter and Google+

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