Remembering Kendall Gilmer

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Kendall Gilmer rests in peace beside her Grandfather James Evans at Olive Branch Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia.

For the entirety of her short life, Kendall Gilmer suffered from a rare, and until 1994, never before seen nerve condition. Kendall was super sensitive to touch and sound, so sensitive she could not walk, or even change clothes without being in extreme pain. The world was told of Kendall’s mysterious condition in a June 7, 1994 article in the Norfolk, Virginia newspaper, The Virginian Pilot, which I have saved here, (Click here to read the Pilot June 7, 1994 Gilmer Article).

For the next sixteen years, Kendall and her family battled her condition and she appeared in the newspaper once again during January 2002 where she went “ice sliding” for a day and in Christmas of 2005, where she loved visits from Santa at EDMARC Hospice for Children in Portsmouth. Kendall passed away six years later on May 1, 2011, she was 21. Rest in Peace Kendall, I too will remember you and your strength.

The Wrong Spot

As an addendum, I feel it’s also good to note that Kendall was initially buried in the wrong spot. According to a September 23, 2011 article in The Virginia Pilot, it was discovered another family actually owned the plot she was buried in. This was at no fault of either family and the mixup weighed on the City of Portsmouth and a private cemetery management company. According to the Pilot article, Kendall’s family agreed to have both her and her grandfather’s grave moved together to a new spot with all costs being paid for by the city and the private management company. (Click here to read the Pilot September 3, 2011, “Grave mistake” article)



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