Community mourning after Sandown boy dies while bringing cookies to friend


By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent |
October 26. 2015 11:36PM

Christopher Chester (Courtesy Brookside Chapel & Funeral Home)







SANDOWN — Sandown North Elementary School fourth-grader Christopher Chester died suddenly Friday night while delivering homemade cookies to a friend.

The 9-year-old’s father, William Chester, said his son wanted to make cookies, and after baking them, decided to take some to a friend who lives down the road.

“He tripped or fell on the way there,” Chester said in a statement. “I asked him to get up and he didn’t. When I (tried) to help him up, he was lifeless. I tried to wake him up and he wouldn’t wake up. I ran to get my truck and put him in it and called 911.”

Chester performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived. Paramedics continued CPR and the boy’s heart began to beat again, but efforts to save him were unsuccessful.

Chester’s statement didn’t reveal an exact cause of death, but it was a touching tribute to his son.

“I had to say goodbye to my best friend. He was going to be 10 years old next month ... This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. This is the saddest day of my life. He was such a great kid. He had such a heart of gold. Heaven just received the best angel that they will ever see. I love you so much Christopher. I miss you so much. I don’t know what to do without you,” he wrote.

Sandown North Elementary, which Christopher had attended since first grade, opened its doors on Sunday and made counselors available to help grieving classmates and others as news of Christopher’s death spread quickly through this small town.

“Certainly, as a school of adults and students, we’re feeling his loss. It’s a tough day, but we’ve all pulled together,” school Principal Jo-Ann Georgian said Monday.

An online fund was created on the fundraising site GoFundMe to help the family with funeral costs.

More than $17,000 was raised by Monday afternoon.

Christopher, who loved animals and cared deeply for his dog, Jethro, was a member of the 4-H Club of Chester and the Granite State Bow Hunters, according to his obituary.

He liked spending time hiking, fishing, working in his yard, horseback riding, boating and riding ATVs.

In school, Georgian said Christopher always tried his hardest.

“He was a very sweet and loving boy. He did his best in school,” she said.

Counselors were available at the school again on Monday for anyone who needed to talk about the sudden loss.

“Mostly what the children needed to do was to see us and see each other,” Georgian said.

A celebration of Christopher’s life will be held today from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at Brookside Chapel & Funeral Home at 116 Main St. in Plaistow. His funeral is planned for Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the funeral home with a liturgy of the word at 1 p.m. in Saint Anne’s Church on Emerson Avenue in Hampstead.

Anyone wishing to donate to the GoFundMe campaign can find it under the name “Christopher Chester” at www.gofundme.com/f9732w78

jschreiber@newstote.com
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