Jameer remembered by family, friends

Published 8:02 am Wednesday, January 14, 2009

COURTLAND— Family and friends remembered Jameer Khamarie Woodley as an energetic and happy little boy who loved God, sports and his family.

“He made me laugh,” his maternal grandfather, Larry Rose, said Monday night as family and friends gathered at his Courtland home to grieve with the family. “He was a very intelligent kid, and he was very, very active. He had a motor that just didn’t quit.”

Woodley was struck and killed by a bus on Friday at Riverdale Elementary School.

The tragic death sent shockwaves through the community and opened an outpouring of love and support for the grieving family.

“Jameer was full of life and full of joy. He radiated it,” his grandmother, Yvonne Rose, said.

Jameer’s mother, LaKisha Woodley, said her son loved macaroni and cheese, cereal, Power Rangers and Spiderman.

For Christmas, he received Spiderman skates and a helmet.

“He broke the skates the first day,” Woodley said, smiling. “He was athletic, like his father.”

LaKisha Woodley echoed other comments about the sunny little boy she nicknamed “Me-Me.”

“He had a constant joy about him,” she said. “He always grinned. It made you laugh.”

Yvonne Rose said she will miss the mornings she spent with her grandson.

“I made him breakfast every morning before school — a croissant with eggs and cheese, no meat. And if he was late for the bus and he couldn’t finish it, he pouted until I put it in a bag for him.”

Rose said she watched every morning as Jameer tagged along behind his big brother Jaylon, 6, to get to the bus each morning.

“I thank God for the time we had with him,” she said.

The Roses and Woodleys said they find comfort in the Bible and their faith.

“This hit us hard and it hurts,” Jameer’s great uncle, Keith Rose, said. “It hurts deep. Our faith will carry us through, though. Some good is going to come out of this. I know it is.

“We can get through this.”

“All of this was the plan of God — not for him to die, but for him to come home,” Larry Rose said. “My grandson is in a better place and I know he served a purpose here,” he said. “God has a plan for all of us.”

Keith Rose and his wife Sharon said they will always have fond memories of Jameer.

“He was an inquisitive little rascal,” Keith Rose said with a laugh. “He was an energetic little boy, friendly to everybody.”

“I’m gonna miss him playing and laughing and talking,” Sharon Rose said. “My heart is just so heavy right now.”

Butch Turner with the Franklin Parks and Recreation department shared a picture of Jameer with his T-ball team.

The boy, the smallest one in the group, proudly held up a trophy the team had won.

“He was a sweet little kid who loved baseball,” Turner said.

Jameer also leaves behind his father, Tim Woodley and baby brother, Jaleel, 4 months old.

Keith Rose said his brother gave up his plot at Southview Cemetery so that Jameer could be buried next to his brother, T.J., who died after a kitchen accident in 2004.

The Woodleys moved to Courtland to be near family after T.J.’s death.

“After the first one passed, I wanted them to be close to me,” Larry Rose said. “It hit me so hard. I felt like I had to protect them.”

The Roses and Woodleys are known in the community as being full of faith, which strengthens them.

“They are a strong family,” said the Rev. Sherry Saunders, pastor of New Life Church in Franklin. “Their greatest truth comes from their belief in Jesus Christ.”

The Woodleys attend New Life and Saunders has counseled them through their grief.

“I can’t explain this, but I know it didn’t take God by accident,” she said. “We grieve; we’re human. But these are people who also have hope. God is still God, and they take comfort in that.”

The Roses said they feel no malice toward the bus driver.

“We pray for her — sincere prayer,” Larry Rose said. “God will help her overcome this tragedy.”