Camari Chestnut memorial

Conway Elementary School 4th graders came together Friday to remember their classmate Camari Chestnut with a special ceremony.

“You can tell by the number of tears, she was very well-loved,” said Taylor Collins, who was one of Chestnut’s teachers.

Chestnut, 9, was killed in a single vehicle car accident in on Old Pee Dee Road in Georgetown last November, and CES came together to plant a flower garden in her honor in the presence of her classmates, teachers, family, and friends.

“We’re here to celebrate life, a life that taught all of us many lessons, gave us many endless belly laughs, and a life that showed kindness to so many,” said Chestnut’s third grade teacher, Kelly Schmidt.

Student Destiny McKinson stood before the crowd to share her thoughts about her late cousin.

“She would brighten your day,” McKinson said. “We were like sisters.”

Classmates Audrey Hudson and Jamiyah Wilson read a poem commemorating what a good friend Camari was to them.

“We know Camari will always be by our side,” they said.

Kensey Eaddy tearfully sang the popular Andra Day song “Rise Up” to remember her friend.

Friends and members of Chestnut’s family rallied around her mother, Catilia, who presented a plaque to the school in appreciation for their support.

“My daughter was the sweetest, most loving child,” Chestnut said. “Thank you for the love and support you have given us.”

Principal Maquitta Davis closed the ceremony, saying Chestnut made an impact on so many lives, and they were thankful for her “abundance of love and happiness”.

“She graced the hallways with a joyous spirit…and we will never forget,” Davis said.

Schmidt said the garden had recently been improved to house the flower boxes and a special plaque honoring Chestnut’s memory.

“She quickly stole my heart, we honor her today and every day,” Schmidt said. “These [flowers] will show her spirit forever.”


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