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Passing of young Community Gardener in Grand Rapids, MI

  • Subject: [cg] Passing of young Community Gardener in Grand Rapids, MI
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 08:38:31 EST

Father mourns the loss of 12-year old son

Gita Pullapilly

Created: 1/30/2005 5:05:20 PM
Updated: 1/30/2005 5:57:24 PM

Teddy bears and notes are now a part of a makeshift memorial in front of a
home where a Grand Rapids boy died last week in a fire.

Emanuel Ellis El's father says he and other community leaders were grooming
the young boy to become an influential leader in the city.

12-year old Emanuel Ellis El died in the fire Friday morning while he was
sleeping upstairs in his bedroom. "The smoke overtook him and he was trapped
now I'm trapped with just the memories," said Emanuel Ellis El Senior,
Emanuel's father.

The family says Emanuel died of smoke inhilation. Now, they're trying to
understand why and hope he didn't suffer. "I try to be strong for him, try to
strong for community but I have waves of pain and emptiness that he's gone and
the way he went," said El.

Two days before his death, Emanuel and his father took a walk along the Grand
River. "I told him I loved him and he told me he loved me. I told him I'd see
him this weekend. This weekend has come and he's gone," said Emanuel's

Emanuel Ellis El Sr. is now left without his son, his friend and his business
partner. "We began to develop gardens out of vacant lots in the city, and use
the vegetables to give to the homeless and also elderly individuals in the
community," said El.

Emanuel loved gardening, just as much as his video games. In fact, father and
son had just invented the Planter Plus, a pot that waters your plant for
weeks. " Emanuael was a gift to me, a gift to me for a short time. It was the
beautiful short time of my life," said his father.

Fire investigators are still determining the cause of the fire. Emanuel's
funeral will be held Wednesday at 11 am at City Hope Ministries on Jefferson

Web Editor:  Gita Pullapilly, Grand Rapids Metro Team Reporter  

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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