Derrick Rose at Endia Martin service / Photo by Jessica Koscielniak
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA
About 1,000 mourners packed a South Side church on Monday to say goodbye to 14-year-old Endia Martin, a child described by those who knew her as a confident girl determined to make something of herself.
The slight girl, buried in a cream casket clothed in lavender gown and crystal tiara, was known for her smile and bubbly personality, friends and family said.
She was killed April 28, allegedly by another 14-year-old girl involved in a Facebook feud over a boy.
“This was a person who walked around unafraid. She didn’t feel she had enemies,” said the Rev. Larry Martin, in his eulogy at the funeral held at St. Andrew’s Church at 1743 W. Marquette Rd.
“I’ve asked 17-year-olds out here what they want to do with their lives, and have been told, ‘I just wanna get to 18 years old.’ That was not Endia. She dreamed of a future way beyond that.”
Before the service, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose had quietly entered the church, in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, to pay his respects. Rose parked his Rolls Royce behind the white limousines outside the church, then entered the church with two gentlemen who notified Chicago Police Officers on the street that Rose had arrived. Rose left without speaking to reporters.
During the service, family and friends, wearing purple, Endia’s favorite color, and a sea of white t-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with the girl’s smiling face, under “R.I.P.,” celebrated a short life that they said had touched so many.
“She gave 100 percent to both her friends and family,” a relative, Krystle Jacox, said, reading the girl’s obituary.
“She was confident, bubbly, outgoing and shameless. She was a beautiful young lady who kept her head held high,” Jacox said. “Endia may have lived a short time, but she has left us with tons of memories that we can always treasure.”
Teenagers from the girl’s high school, Tilden, from her former elementary, Dewey, and from her neighborhood lined every wall in the standing-room-only sanctuary.
Speaker after speaker, from preachers to Chicago Public Schools personnel, encouraged them to stop the violence, as outside, Chicago police officers kept watch.
Throughout the 2 1/2-hour funeral, Martin’s mother, Jonie Dukes-Kennedy, sat weeping in a front pew, held by her stepfather, Kent Kennedy.
Other survivors include Martin’s father, Monroe Martin; four siblings, Tinesa, Mykia, Darius and Kenya; and a host of other relatives.
Endia was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.
— Contributing: Jessica Koscielniak