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Forget me not

Bortvit’s ELC classmates arrange gathering for remembrance, joy

June 8, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The Estherville Lincoln Central High School class of 2014, the classmates of Thomas Bortvit, arranged a gathering to remember their friend. Thomas Bortvit's family members and friends released balloons, and watched them ascend to the sky.

Fareway Stores, Thomas Bortvit's employer at the time he was killed June 6, 2015, donated hot dogs and buns, and organizers hoped the evening would be sacred time to remember the happiness Thomas brought to others.

Two memorial activities began at the Tuesday evening gathering. First, the loved ones and friends of Thomas plan a rock garden in the area of the memorial bench at Spurgin Park on Estherville's south side. Friends and family members wrote messages of love to Thomas on rocks, which will later be placed in the garden.

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Second, packets of flower seeds were handed out. The flowers are forget-me-nots, and friends hope people will plant the flowers throughout the Estherville area and beyond.

Since Thomas Bortvit's death, a number of positive things have begun in the community. Funds were raised for a scholarship in Bortvit's name for the Iowa Lakes Community College criminal justice department. Bortvit was studying for his degree in criminal justice.

Bortvit's loved ones say the important thing is to change people's lives around us by being positive, and always help others when we can.

In this way, Thomas Bortvit, described as hard-working, soft-spoken, unassuming, friendly, kind, and genuine, will never be forgotten.



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