Friends and family members came out on Friday to remember and honor a young man who died after a tragic fall.
Declin Ermer, a former high school athlete from Wheaton Warrenville South High School, is remembered for his personality and his vital gifts.
Ermer died earlier this month after falling from a patio onto a sunken sidewalk while in college at the University of Montana.
“It can happen to anyone, but we always think it will be someone else,” said Eric Ermer, his father.
His death hit his family and friends hard. Many have reached out to his family to share stories.
“There are people across the country who have told us stories about his kindness that we didn’t know about,” said his mother, Laura Townsend.
Ermer was a star athlete at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, where he played volleyball, soccer, and basketball.
“He touched so many people in all three sports,” said Wheaton Warrenville South athletic director Mike Healy. “He was one of those great kids.”
Friends said he was also a great teammate. One of his most memorable basketball games was against rival Wheaton North, where he held his own defensively and charged three times, doing the dirty work to help his team win. This selfless quality will be part of his legacy. Ermer and his family chose to donate his organs.
“In the end, with the tissues and all, there were seven people whose lives were saved or benefited,” her father said.
“He’s going to be here forever. He’s my angel. He’s going to live,” his mother said.
Many people who knew Ermer of Wheaton Warrenville South will be at his memorial service on Sunday afternoon. Indeed, more than 500 people are expected.
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