Memorials planned for Speller

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 25, 2007

WINDSOR – It’s never an easy task to say goodbye to a friend or loved one.

That farewell becomes harder when the friend or loved one is only 15-years-old.

Family and friends of Bertie High School freshman Sidney Speller will say their goodbyes during two scheduled services. Speller collapsed on Friday morning while participating in a supervised Physical Education activity (basketball) in the high school gym. Despite CPR efforts performed by Bertie High staff and members of the Bertie Rescue Squad, Speller was pronounced dead a short time later at Bertie Memorial Hospital. The cause of death is still unknown.

A wake is scheduled for 7-8 p.m. this evening (Thursday) at Cedar Landing Baptist Church, located at 146 Cedar Landing Road near Windsor.

Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) in the Bertie High School gymnasium. All Bertie Public Schools will release students and staff at 12 noon on Friday to allow adequate time to attend the service.

Meanwhile, the thoughts and prayers of the county’s public education system go out to the parents, Ronnie and Cynthia Speller. Mrs. Speller is employed at Windsor Elementary School.

As expected, the mood was a somber one throughout Bertie Schools as students and staff returned to the classrooms earlier this week.

“Many of our students are with heavy heart, mourning the death of this bright and well-liked young man,” Bertie High Principal Ricky Eley said.

Eley added that although Speller was a quiet and well-behaved young man, he was known throughout the school.

“Some of our students didn’t know him personally, but they knew his face,” Eley noted. “I know those enrolled in our Freshman Academy (9th graders) knew him well. I know they will miss him, as will we all here at Bertie High School.”