Friday, April 11, 2014

Ray Adam Mangiafico

Ray Adam Mangiafico 1992-2014
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post. We lost one of Joe's grandsons this week. I am still trying to wrap my head around this tragic accident. I am still hoping to wake up and find that it is all a dream.

This 21 year old young man had such an amazing future ahead of him. He had a heart of gold. He would give you the shirt off his back. I know he has left such an influence on everyone who knew him. His friends describe him as a "gentle giant". I knew him as Adam. My nephew. I guess it's true what they say, 'only the good die young'.

I watched this little man grow into a big strong teddy bear. I used to take care of him after school. The bus would drop him off at my house. Missy (my dog) would greet him at the door and they would play together most of the day.

Adam had just won the Strongman competition in  Macon, Georgia. He was a former Jacksonville University football player and he was currently playing with the Jacksonville Apostles.

No parent should have to bury their child. It's certainly not something that you are really prepared for. We all loved Adam so much. He was our family. But you never really know what others see in him, how he influenced friends and co-workers. We have all been amazed at the love and support of the community. In fact there has been a memorial fund set up to help with his funeral expenses.

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I bet Adam is chatting it up with grandpa Joe now.

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