The fifth graders held little packets and stood on the grass, waiting quietly to release butterflies in memory of a classmate who has passed on.
The tears were plentiful.
Ila Elementary School students and faculty remembered the late Evan Escoe at an emotional ceremony Oct. 6 at the new pavilion at the school’s track. Two picnic benches were dedicated in honor of Escoe at the pavilion.
Escoe and his friend, Samuel Hart, both 10, died in a car accident on Hwy. 441 in June.
Escoe’s fourth grade teacher Debbie Morris recalled the pleasure of teaching the energetic boy.
“Enjoy I did, for Evan was full of life,” said Morris. “He was very energetic and probably 110 percent boy, all boy.”
Morris recalled Escoe’s beautiful handwriting.
“He could probably put some of these girls to shame because we always think about girls with their handwriting,” she said.
Morris said Escoe could always find ways to connect lessons to video games. And he loved to bowl and offer tips on the sport. Morris spoke of his sense of humor, noting that another teacher relayed a story of Escoe building a snow toilet instead of a snowman.
“Evan also had a great head full of hair,” she said. “He loved his hair and was proud of his hair. We used to tease him that it hid his pretty eyes. We used to laugh and tell him that we were going to bring hair bows.”
Escoe’s family was on hand for the occasion.
“But Evan also loved his family very much,” said Morris. “He talked about his family quite often and he would share events from his weekend. But one of his favorite things was when he beat J.T. at video games.”
Morris offered encouragement to the fifth graders who gathered around the pavilion.
“Evan touched all of our lives throughout the years and warmed our heart,” said Morris. “Today we are sad because we miss him and he’s not here among us. But I don’t want us to dwell on our sadness. Instead I want you guys to move through the school year with the energy that Evan would have. Be energetic, give your 110 percent at what you’re doing. And at Evan’s memory, make this one of your best school years ever.”