ELYRIA — Always smiling, kissing and dancing, Omeire West is remembered by his family as “an angel.”
Omeire, 4, died in a house fire July 7 at his grandfather William Davila’s home in the 400 block of Second Street in Elyria. Since tragedy struck, the Davila family, and the community, have come together to remember the little boy’s life, and the light he brought to theirs.
“He was such a loving boy,” William Davila said. “He loved playing with his sisters, he loved all the characters — like he loved Spider-Man, he loved the Hulk. He loved church, he loved to go (around) when they had peace … We had to watch because he thought he could go to anybody, he thought everybody was his friend …”
Other family members agreed. Grisel Porrata, Davila’s sister, remembered when her brother brought Omeire down to Virginia Beach last summer to visit her.
“We took him to the zoo, he loved it … You can see him jumping and dancing around with my grandson. He always, always loved to give you hugs and kisses …”
Porrata, whose grandson is near Omeire’s age, said it will be hard moving forward. She remembered watching Paw Patrol with the boys, popcorn in hand.
She added later, “At church, he could not give people enough hugs. He loved God, he really enjoyed going to church. The priest said at the wake, he was like — When we give peace, (Omeire) couldn’t come to give it to (the priest), but as soon as we left, he would go to the priest and give him hugs and kisses and all that stuff.”
Davila, who is known by his family and friends to wear a number of rings, shared a small story of a conversation he had with Omeire.
“I told him when he became older he could have all my rings and he says ‘Papa, when (are) you going to die?’ I was like ‘Ohhhh,’” Davila laughed. “He was a good kid. He was always rambunctious, he loved to run, he loved to play, he was always fun. He would do everything.”
In the midst of grieving, the family had to look to the future — attending a wedding Saturday just a day after Omeire’s funeral service. For his great-aunt, Maria Garcia, she said the family was happy they made it to the wedding, and Omeire was remembered there as well.
“(Omeire) was going to be my ring-bearer in my 25th anniversary (next year),” she said. “In fact, my nephew just got married today and a lot of the family, kind of thought how hard it was going to be for us to go from a funeral to the very next day, a wedding. And they have been trying to get this wedding together for a year, and I told my mom ‘Mom, I know Omeire was supposed to be the ring bearer but we can’t take this away from them.’”
Porrata said the loss has been hard on the family, stressing Omeire was loved by all his sisters, parents, grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins. She said his 11-year-old sister, Jayla Mitchell, understands, but all Amaria West, 6, knows is she won’t see her brother again.
“(Omiere) always loved his Papa, his Papa was his world,” she said. “He loved his mama, he loved his sisters, but his eyes would pop open when he saw his Papa, that was his life. He just loved to kiss you and hug you, he was just like a little angel — we would never expect something like this.”