Honoring Their Legacy
Features, Seniors

Honoring Their Legacy

By Cameron Deckman

They were there when they were born.

They were there when they took their first steps.

They were there on their first day of elementary school.

They were there for almost everything, but now they will miss one of the most important days of their lives.

Seniors King James, Tristan White, John Prutzman and Will Abbott are among those who go day-by-day with their lost loved one in the back of their mind. With the school year wrapping up they are looking to finish it without them.

“I feel like there’s a loss of guidance,” Abbott says. “I just turned 18 and I’m an adult and I don’t know where to go and it’s a little hard to know what to do.”

Abbott lost his father, William Abbott III, in November 2022. He suffered a heart attack and passed away.

“Things were very strange with my family,” Abbott said. “Things with my mom were very rough. … It took a toll on everyone.”

Even with his father not being there, he still uses his advice. He tries to be the best he can be, and with the lessons his father has taught him, he works and tries to be successful every day.

Abbott’s father taught him to just keep going.

“He told me to never stop trying, and to do my best on everything,” Abbott said.

Senior Will Abbott IV and his father Will Abbott III celebrate his 17th birthday. (Photo provided)

Abbott was not alone. Throughout the passing and after, Sophie Campbell, his girlfriend, stood by him.

Campbell works at Party City. On that day she was scheduled to go into work at 4 p.m. She would’ve had to leave school immediately. However, in 5th period she had a feeling that she should call off work that day.

“If I hadn’t [called off work],” Campbell said, “I wouldn’t have been able to be there for him.”
Abbott now lives with Campbell’s family and is preparing to graduate from Delta High School.

Tristan White lost his father, Kyle White, on Nov. 25, 2021. His father passed away due to an illness after going to the hospital. He was 41 years old.

“Seeing him in the hospital, it was hard to see him like that,” White said.

He makes sure to keep his father in the back of his mind. He keeps a picture of him from high school in his closet. The picture is of his dad in front of a car.

With his father on his mind, he goes day-by-day not making the mistakes that his father might have made, with the goal of making him proud.

Three years ago, senior John Prutzman’s life changed forever. His father, Randall Scott Prutzman, passed away.

It was extremely tough for him, and he went through a rough spot of depression. There isn’t a single night where Prutzman does not think of his father.

Although John’s father was gone, he still supported his family.

“After he passed we got his benefits and got some money our way. It really helped us out,” John said.

John uses his father as motivation. If John fails at something, he uses his father to keep going.

Rev. John James, King James’s father, would’ve seen his son graduate this year. He would’ve seen him achieve his goals, but he passed away on Jan. 15, 2017.

Rev. James suffered a heart attack while taking a shower. King heard a loud bang come from the bathroom. He ran to the bathroom and when he got there he was shocked. When paramedics arrived they attempted CPR, but it didn’t work. They used a defibrillator, but it didn’t work either.

Two years later, on Sept. 28, 2019 the King family would have another tragedy. King’s mother, Karen A. James, would pass away from a stomach rupture. King was really close with his mother.

family photo
The James family. (Photo provided)

“She was a very strong woman, and she taught me everything I know today. Her personality was great, she was a great person to be around,” King said.

Instead of giving up, King uses his parents’ deaths to push him further. King went to school and used basketball to distract him. He uses his father’s advice to never give up and to keep moving forward.

“It’s made me stronger, I feel like I’m more mature because of it,” King said. “I feel like I click with people more because of it.”

Although he may feel alone sometimes, King still has many friends who have been there for him for a long time. One such person is Cody Dickin. Dickin has known King since kindergarten.

When King’s father passed Dickin and his mother would help by driving King places he needed to go. When King’s mother passed Dickin and his mother would help by making food for him and his brother.

Dickin has seen King change over the years.

“I feel like he was able to just have a more positive outlook on life,” Dickin said, “After dealing with that he realized that life is short and you need to live life to the fullest.”

These seniors have gone through a lot, and it will never be the same. Even with these challenges they never gave up.

They are on the last stretch of their high school life and will soon be on their own.

They do it for their parents because they were there when they were born.

They were there when they took their first steps.

They were there on their first day of elementary school.

They were there for almost everything.

Although they won’t see their child graduate, their seniors will honor them and make them proud.

John and Karen James in their younger days. (Photo provided)
May 11, 2023

About Author

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Cameron Deckman Cameron Deckman is a sophomore at Delta High School. He enjoys running, but always forgets his water bottle. He has crazy shin problems and after every run can be seen limping. He drinks black coffee like an old man. He plays baseball, too, and his favorite team is the Cincinnati Reds. DE LA CRUZ ON TOP!


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