Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Grief flows at funeral for 5-year-old Kevon Wilson

ST. PETERSBURG — In a small white brick church, a young mother dressed in peach lace made her way toward a tiny white coffin topped with an aquarium of live lizards.

But as Sikkina Wilson, 22, neared the body of her little boy in the open coffin, she collapsed in the arms of relatives and wailed above the music: "Baby, please come back."

Grief roared in like a tornado at the funeral of 5-year-old Kevon Wilson as more than 200 people gathered at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church on Saturday.

Family members held each other and cried loudly as they remembered the boy, who was killed May 28 at the Pinellas Point apartments where he lived with his mother. That day, a 14-year-old girl got the keys to her mother's Volkswagen Cabrio, backed up and then drove forward into Kevon, pinning him against a concrete wall.

After a while, someone closed the coffin of the soulful boy who loved Spider-Man, SpongeBob SquarePants and lizards. Seeing his tiny body in a black pinstripe suit and a yellow cummerbund took their breath away.

Several ministers representing both sides of Kevon's family tried to make sense of the loss for friends and relatives gathered in the church. They said Kevon was taken away so others might recognize how much life is worth living.

"With the untimely death … of our little brother, he was exalted to the position of messenger of God," said James Muhammad, a student minister of Louis Farrakhan's in the Nation of Islam and a close friend of Kevon's father's family. "What is the message? Respect life. Rejoice in life."

"Yes, living requires responsibility," said the Rev. Clarence A. Williams, pastor of Mount Zion, where Kevon was in the choir. "There it is. Take it. Life is yours. The world is yours. Go ahead and make a difference for Kevon."

As family members grieved, they also expressed indignation that no one from the 14-year-old girl's family had contacted them. The girl apparently got her mother's keys to retrieve her school books and then tried to drive the car. She has not been charged in connection with the incident so far, and her name has not been released.

"As a family, we want an apology," said Krystal Green, 27, Kevon's aunt.

At Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Clearwater, Kevon was buried just steps from his paternal grandfather, who was buried there exactly seven years ago Saturday.

Family members grabbed red roses and purple snapdragons from the flower arrangement atop his small coffin to remember him. His toys — a plastic dinosaur, a stuffed Spider-Man — were stuck amidst the white peace lilies, yellow mums, peach roses and orange birds of paradise that traveled with him from the church in St. Petersburg to the cemetery in Clearwater.

"In life you must realize that God sends us blessings in disguise," said his uncle, Luther Green, reading from a prepared speech. "He was an angel before my eyes although he was only 5."

As his mother, who is pregnant, walked back to her limousine, she hugged well wishers and clutched flowers. "He's going to a better place, and he don't have to worry no more," she said.

Kevon's father, LeeAndre Green, 26, and his sister, Tivica Green Muhammad, 34, are trying to organize a gathering for the children at Pinellas Point Apartments, many of whom witnessed Kevon's death. Perhaps if there had been a place for the children to play at the apartment complex, this wouldn't have happened, said Kevon's aunt, Tivica Green Muhammad.

"These children witnessed as tragic a thing as you can ever witness in your life," said Kevon's grandmother, Ernestine McCrone, 51. "He wasn't just pushed into the wall. He was wedged into the wall. Who's going to help those children who saw that?"

Times staff writer Leonora LaPeter Anton can be reached at lapeter@sptimes.com or 727-893-8640.

>>FAST FACTS

In his memory

The Kevon Wilson memorial fund has been set up at SunTrust Bank.

Grief flows at funeral for 5-year-old Kevon Wilson 06/07/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2008 1:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Duke Energy Florida president answers questions about utility's response to Irma

    Hurricanes

    ST. PETERSBURG — After more than a week since Hurricane Irma knocked out power to millions of Floridians, Duke Energy announced it will finish its restoration efforts Tuesday.

    Duke Energy Florida President Harry Sideris greets St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman on Tuesday at a news conference where both spoke about Hurricane Irma recovery. The event was held at a Florida Department of Transportation lot next to Maximo Park in St. Petersburg, where the city is collecting Irma yard debris which will be mulched and sold to a local tomato farmer. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Leaves, mountains, ice cream and cheese: What's not to like in Burlington, Vt.?

    Travel

    If I loved Burlington, Vt., during a visit with my daughter when the high was 37 degrees, I feel completely comfortable recommending the city as a great destination for fall, when it's considered one of the top leaf-watching spots in the world.

    Founded in 1791, the University of Vermont is the sixth-oldest college established in New England.
  3. Puerto Ricans in Tampa Bay wait with dread as Hurricane Maria approaches island

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — As Hurricane Maria swirled in the Atlantic Ocean, Sarykarmen Rivera got a phone call from her parents in Puerto Rico. They had an ominous message.

    Sarykarmen Rivera sits for a portrait with a picture of herself and her family in her hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico, while at the Univision studios in Tampa on Tuesday. Rivera's mother, father, and extended family are currently in Puerto Rico and she worries about their safety as Hurricane Maria approaches. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B

    Banking

    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project

    Business

    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]