Sheldon B. Wright II was a well-loved child, his mother Channa Harrison said. He was a second-grader at Pilot Mountain Elementary School, a beloved son, brother, and grandson; a bright student; a dear friend and a sports fan who loved football — “and now he’s an angel in heaven, looking down on all of us here,” remarked Sheldon’s grandmother, Alfreda Wright.
Family and friends took part in a memorial walk and trash pick-up in honor of Sheldon Saturday, as a “thank you” to the community for giving love and support in such a difficult time in their lives.
Sheldon Wright II died after a car accident last December.
At the sight of the fatal car accident, on Carter Street, Sheldon’s grandfather, Joe Wright Jr., was working with Travis Payne to clean up trash around the site, awaiting the arrival of a group of Sheldon’s family and friends, including parents Channa Harrison and Sheldon Wright Sr.
Prior to the walk, Sheldon’s family and friends gathered by his burial site at Skyline Memory Gardens to honor Sheldon’s memory with a special graveside service. Hugh Harris led the group in prayer and Gavin Green sang two songs; one was sung as the group left the graveside, carrying out a message of hope and God’s love as the group prepared to walk to the site of the accident.
Many were carrying flowers and wearing special shirts with Sheldon’s name and picture on the front. After they arrived on Carter Street, they had collected an entire truck bed full of trash, making the route from the site of the accident to Sheldon’s grave clean and free of all trash. Several members of the group even went out of their way to collect debris and trash — they sifted through leaves, sprinted up steep hills and went down the river bank to pick up small pieces of trash they spotted along the route.
The Mount Airy Police Department was there every step of the way — the officers escorted the group up U.S. 52 onto Carter Street, to the site of the accident in a large curve above the river, stopping traffic along the way so they could safely walk along the side of the road.
Harrison said she wanted to express enormous thanks “to the Mount Airy Police Department for all they have done to help us…they really have been right by our side since the beginning and we are honored to have them here today.”
Harrison said she and Sheldon’s father, Sheldon Wright Sr., along with Sheldon’s sister Shania, visit the site of the accident every day. The site is marked with numerous colorful flowers and crosses bearing Sheldon’s name. The tree down the river bank is carved with Sheldon’s name, an act of love carved by his mother, father, and Shania — a spontaneous decision they made one day while they were visiting the site.
“We would go and visit every day and his father decided to weed eat around the flowers…me and Shania decided to do something for him right there, and we carved his name in that tree. Further down, at the bottom of the rock next to the river, his name is painted. We go every day to remember him,” explained Harrison.
Harrison said, “Sheldon’s spirit is still with us, in our hearts,” which is why they decided to host the memorial walk and trash pick-up, in Sheldon’s name.
“This is our way of giving back to the community as a ‘thank you’ for all the donations, love, and support they have given to us throughout this whole ordeal. On behalf of Sheldon’s family, I want to say that he will always have a special place in our heart. He was a truly loved child. His love showed in everything he did and he loved his family, friends, his school, his teachers, his principal, he loved everyone and he was very loved.”
Instead of focusing on the tragedy, Harrison said she wanted to keep his memory alive by giving back to others, which would “keep Sheldon’s spirit alive in our hearts.”
Sheldon’s grandmother, Alfreda Wright, said she misses Sheldon every day. “Only God knows why things happen, but I know he’s in a better place, looking down on us from heaven.”
A memorial service will be held for Sheldon Wright II on May 13 at Pilot Mountain Elementary School, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The public is welcome to attend the service, to pay tribute to Sheldon Wright II, a beloved 9-year-old who is greatly missed by many.
Reach Jessica Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1933.