The deaths of two recent Fairfield High School graduates in a span of about 48 hours has left this Butler County school community stunned, said school officials.
Last week saw Fairfield football standout and college-bound graduate Antaun Hill Jr., 18, fatally wounded by gunfire during a fight late Wednesday night in Liberty Twp. Hill, who was from Fairfield Twp., was going to play football at Independence Community College in Kansas.
Then on Friday evening, fellow graduate Franquie Johnson, 20, died unexpectedly while at home.
“Losing a member of our Fairfield community is always a tragedy; but, losing Franquie and Antaun at this moment where it seems their lives were just beginning is unbearable,” said Carri Mefford, president of the high school’s PTC (Parents and Teachers for Children).
With all Ohio K-12 schools closed down in March as a mandated preventative measure to curb the coronavirus, thousands of area high school seniors missed out on many events in the last months of school.
It’s been a tough spring for the 10,000-student school system, which draws students from both the city of Fairfield and Fairfield Township, and the untimely deaths make it all the harder, said Mefford.
“The losses of two members of the class of 2020 have broken the hearts of the Fairfield school community. In this year where so many experiences and memories and moments have been lost, the deaths of Antaun and Franquie have left us aching,” she said.
“The entire Fairfield community has been an amazing source of strength and support for our seniors in the last few months, and they have continued reaching out through these two tragedies. It seems like everyone wants to help in some way, whether it’s through a GoFundMe or a Meal Train or simply by sharing their love and support,” said Mefford.
Fairfield Schools Spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher said “the loss of two beloved students within days of one another has rocked the Fairfield school community to its core.”
“Antaun and Franquie enriched our lives by sharing their gifts of positivity, determination, and kindness. We are grateful for the community outpouring of support for our students and staff,” said Gentry-Fletcher.
“These two young people left us far too soon. We are better people for having known them,” she said.
Funeral service information for the two is pending.
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