Fairview celebrates the life of Anna Hamrick

Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Fairview Elementary conducted a ceremony in honor of former second-grade student Anna Hamrick Tuesday afternoon. Friends, classmates, teachers and family gathered to hear a short tribute and plant a fall fiesta sugar maple tree on the south side of the school grounds. (Above) Josh Hamrick steadies Anna's memorial tree as classmates and well-wishers secure the plant with dirt.
Photo by Colin Van Westen

Almost a year after 8-year-old Spencer resident Anna Hamrick passed away in a one-vehicle semi accident in rural Osceola County, many of her family, friends, teachers and classmates came together to plant a tree in Hamrick's memory Tuesday afternoon.

"What the memorial means to me is this was Anna's school," Anna's mother Krista Hamrick said. "She loved school and with this tree, a piece of her is still here. A part of her is always going to be here in her honor."

The ceremony began with Anna's father Josh Hamrick commemorating his daughter with a speech noting Anna's love for school, people, reading and God.

"The memorial honors her legacy here at the school," Josh Hamrick said. "Anna had an impact on the school. It was her teacher's first year ever teaching here. Even the principal who had never met her was affected. Anyone who talked to her would know she was an outstanding, wonderful person."

The idea of a memorial at the school was discussed separately by school officials and the family before joining together to make it a reality.

"The community and the school have been absolutely amazing," Krista Hamrick said. "Between checking up on us, providing meals and sharing thoughts and prayers it has been above and beyond. The school staff made trips to our house to talk to us. They have been so supportive of us. This is one of the hardest things that anyone would ever have to go through. They have been a blessing to us, helping us through this and just being there."

Anna's second-grade teacher Chelsea Brugman remembered Anna and discussed the importance of closure for her classmates.

"Anna was enthusiastic and always excited to learn, always reading and writing," Brugman said. "She had a lot of good friends. She was very active. She was like the little tomboy in my classroom. She was always with the boys out on the soccer field. It was really neat to see her classmates from last year at the ceremony. It was important for them to get that closure, hear about what really happened and for them to accept that is just part of life. They got to be a part of that, they got to put some dirt around the tree. It was really nice to see my kids from last year doing that for Anna."

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