Some people may be gone, but they are never forgotten.
Nearly a decade after her death, that is the case with Savannah Newman, a member of the Grandview Heights High School class of 2004 who died in a September 2003 car accident in Texas.
"Savannah is one of those people who everyone loved," said Lindsey Mitchell, a classmate who helped to organize a recent event at Marshall's Grandview to raise money to repair the memorial in Newman's honor at the high school.
"Savannah was my classmate, my next-door neighbor and my best friend," Mitchell said. "She passed away on Sept. 14, 2003, on my birthday and just at the start of our senior year.
Newman spent time living in Texas with her mother and in Grandview with her father. In September 2003, she had just moved back to Texas after living three years in Grandview.
"It was such a shock to get the call that she had died," Mitchell said.
Newman was a sweet, caring person who treated other people with kindness and thoughtfulness, she said.
"No one ever had a bad thing to say about her," Mitchell said. "Her death devastated her classmates in Grandview."
The memorial placed by the senior parking lot at the high school football field included a tree and a plaque bearing Newman's name.
"The tree has died and the plaque has been damaged," Mitchell said.
Grandview alumni and Newman's friends and family were invited to attend the event at Marshall's. The restaurant and Giant Eagle donated food for the event and those who attended were asked to make donations toward repairing the memorial.
"We had a great time sharing our stories and memories of Savannah," Mitchell said.
More than $900 was raised and a new tree will be planted by the city of Grandview to replace the old one, she said.
The money that is left over after the memorial is repaired will be donated to the Charity Newsies, a cause Newman supported, Mitchell said.
"I think about Savannah often," Mitchell said. "What I remember most about her is her wonderful singing. She was a Christian and she loved to sing religious songs. I can still hear her singing them."