Rantoul community remembers Donnell Robertson

Members of the Rantoul community came together to remember Donnell Robertson who passed away last year on June 10. Those who came were welcome to food and music that Donnell would have wanted. Shown are, from left, Sheldon Lashley, Jerry Harper Jr., Donald Robertson, Gary Lawson and Jerry Harper Sr. 


RANTOUL — Family and friends of Donnell Robertson celebrated his life

Saturday at Wabash Park, where there was food and entertainment.

Community members were welcome to complimentary food such as hamburgers,

hot dogs and potato salad. Children played in bouncy houses, and a DJ pumped out music.

“It is to celebrate my son,” Donnell Robertson said. “It’s to give back to the community because it was a part of his life. It’s just a way to give back to everybody.””

Monday, June 10, marked one year since the sudden passing of Mr. Robertson, a 17-year-old who excelled as a sprinter and hurdler on the Eagles’ track team and running back on the football team.

“He loved playing sports, and he loved his teammates,” Robertson said. “He loved other kids. He was full of energy. He was just overall a good kid.”

When it came to organizing the event, friends and family of Donnell wanted to include things he would have wanted for the community to enjoy.

“He loved the kids, so we had to get the bouncy houses, and he loved music so we had to get a DJ,” Robertson said. “We put it all together along with food he loved to eat. It’s something that we just started and we plan to continue in the future.”

Donald received help with the event from his brother (Donnell’s uncle) Sheldon Lashley, who said he was grateful for the support given to the family.

“The community has done so much in assisting our family in Donnell’s death,” Lashley said. “We definitely wanted to do something to show the community that we do appreciate them. Seeing all these people come out just shows how much support that the community had for my nephew and how much the community had for our family, and we definitely appreciate that.” 

Rantoul track coach Mitch Wilson said the event was held.

“It’s good that his family and friends can get together to share stories, eat good food and just appreciate our time together,” Wilson said. “Our life here on Earth is short. We certainly wish he [Donnell] was here with us.”

Donald had some words that he wanted to give specifically to parents.

“Just love your kids and treat them with love every minute of the day,”

Contact Ben Theobald at btheobald@rantoulpress.com