Sending ‘notes to Easton in heaven’

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By Chicago 6 Min Read

Obit Wilsey

Easton Wilsey

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Prairieview-Ogden seventh-grader Ella Mohr memorialized friend Easton Wilsey prior to a regional softball game Saturday by painting his initials and ‘#2’ on her face.

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ROYAL — Prairieview-Ogden seventh-grader Ella Mohr paid tribute to 9-year-old Easton Wilsey with her attire for a regional softball game Saturday.

On her face she had written “EW No. 2.” A band she wore bore Easton’s name and No. 2.

“Through tears, through love … Easton Wilsey, this regional game is for you,” wrote Ella’s mother, Kelly, on Facebook. “You loved the ball field. Your laugh, your silliness, your determination and your joy.”

Residents of Royal and surrounding communities continue to grieve and pay their respects following Friday’s tragic accident when Easton was struck and killed by a train while riding his bike to school.

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The American flag flew at half-staff at the Ogden-Royal fire house following the death of 9-year-old Easton Wilsey on Friday.

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Several individuals, businesses, schools and sports teams have stepped up to show their support to Easton’s family and friends.

A son of Brooke and John Ross Wilsey of Royal, he was born May 12, 2014. Easton excelled in sports as well as academically, according to his family.

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Four of Easton Wilsey’s third- and fourth-grade buddies made their own memorial under his favorite tree following his death Friday. The memorial included leaves in honor of his favorite color of green, a Kool-Aid jammer pouch, a Cheeto and a cross made of sticks. The items included some of his best-loved things.

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Four of Easton’s third- and fourth-grade buddies — Brixton Mohr, Lucas Lebo, Calvin McElhoe and Shane Harris — wanted to do something to honor Easton’s memory. They made their own memorial display under Easton’s favorite tree that featured some of his best-loved items.

They included a Cheeto, Kool-Aid Jammer pouch, leaves for his favorite color of green and a cross made of sticks.

St. Joseph-Ogden High School and PVO youth football carried the PVO flag at the opening of all games this weekend in honor of Easton. There was a moment of silence prior to the high school football game.

Jacob Risley laid flowers at the 2-yard line at the youth football game. Easton was a player for the team and his father a coach.

Multiple prayer vigils and gatherings with local and area church staff have been held.

Roche Cain, owner of Little Roch’s restaurant in Royal, didn’t open Friday after hearing of Easton’s death.

“I just didn’t feel right being open,” he said. “I’ve lost my son also. I know what the family’s going through.

“That’s not near enough, but that’s the only thing I thought I could do just for the family. They have a long way to go.”

PVO Superintendent Jeff Isenhower called Easton “an amazing young man” and said he is going to “be terribly missed.”

Grief counselors with therapy dogs were present at all three PVO school buildings Monday. There will be no school today so everyone can attend the funeral.

Therapy ponies will be at the school in Royal on Wednesday, and on Friday, a second set of therapy dogs will be brought in.

“We will also be sending ‘notes to Easton in heaven’ on Friday — with environmentally friendly balloons of course — if they get there by then,” Isenhower said.

If the balloons don’t arrive by Friday, the launch will be held Monday.

Students at PVO as well as St. Joseph Grade School and Middle School will wear orange and blue as a show of support.

The American flag was lowered to half-staff at the Ogden-Royal fire station.

At the Royal Community Building, the Champaign County peer support group will be present at 6 p.m. Wednesday for anyone affected by Friday’s accident. Information will also be available for continued support as requested.

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Wagner Signs and Apparel, St. Joseph, are selling shirts in memory of 9-year-old Easton Wilsey, with all proceeds going to his family.

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Wagner Signs and Apparel, St. Joseph, is selling shirts in memory of Easton, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the family.

Among those donating to a family decal donation effort were participants in a biker poker run who stopped at Rochs. A total of $370 was donated by the bikers, which raised the total raised to $1,220 as of Monday morning.

Donations to the Wilsey family may also be made at any Longview State Bank location under “Easton Wilsey Memorial.” Venmo contributions may be made to “@EastonWilseyMemorialFund.”

Friends and family aren’t the only ones affected by Friday’s tragedy. One person wrote on Facebook that prayers should also be said for the train crew and emergency personnel who responded to the accident scene.

Funeral services will be held this morning at St. John Lutheran Church in Royal. Visitation was be Monday evening at the Royal Community Building. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Nora Maberry-Daniels contributed to this story.

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