School mourns ‘delightful person’

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 13, 2000

It was a sad day at Natchez Middle School Monday, as students spent time coping with the loss of one of their own.

Eric Singleton, 15, 22 Montgomery Road, drowned Sunday while fishing with two friends near Lagrange Subdivision.

&uot;He was a delightful person,&uot;&160;said Natchez Middle Principal Linda McMurtry, about Eric. &uot;He was very polite and courteous at all times. He was just a joy to be around.&uot;

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Counselors spent Monday talking with students and encouraging them to express their feelings.

&uot;I think basically they understand what happened,&uot; said William Ward, a counselor at Natchez Middle School

Ward said the counselors talked with the students about grief and how accidents are often beyond human control.

They also encouraged the students to write their thoughts about Eric in letters to send to his family.

&uot;I think that will be (something) the parents can cherish and keep,&uot; said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

Singleton is being described as a an-all-around student who was involved in many school activities including band and sports.

He also was well known by his peers.

&uot;Even though we have a large number of kids they know each other,&uot; McMurtry said. &uot;When something happens to one, it affects all of them.&uot;

Officials believe Singleton and another boy may have jumped out of their small aluminum boat Sunday because they though it was sinking.

The other boy managed to swim to shore but then realized Singleton was still in the water.

He made a failed attempt to rescue Singleton while a third boy on the bank ran for help.

To commemorate Singleton’s life, the student and staff at Natchez Middle School have decided to plant a tree in his honor.

&uot;(The students are) handling it well and I think a tree named in his honor will be a positive way to continue life and that what we want to do,&uot; Davis said.

The service will take place at the middle school campus this week.