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'Parents are not supposed to bury their kids': Funeral held for 11-year-old Aiden Curtis


There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the Masonic Centre near St. Thomas, Ont.

Family and friends of 11-year-old Aiden Curtis packed the hall to say goodbye and celebrate the life of the young boy who was tragically killed in a crash one week earlier.

“Parents are not supposed to bury their kids, kids are supposed to bury their parents,” said Steve Wachowiak, the best friend of Chad Curtis – father of Aiden Curtis, who spoke on behalf of the family.

On July 4, Aiden was killed while walking home from getting an ice cream cone.

He was struck by an alleged impaired driver on Talbot Street.

“It sounds unreal, it sounds made up like something from a movie,” said Wachowiak. “It really sucks, because it really did happen.”

Since the tragedy, the Curtis family has been appreciative of the tremendous community support.

Pallbearers carried the casket of Aiden Curtis, 11, south of St. Thomas, Ont. on July 11, 2023. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

Funeral director Al Hughson read a letter, which spoke of the days since the crash.

From the memorial, the numerous donations, the vigil, and the celebration of his birthday.

“The absolute sea of red balloons flowed through this little town in a tribute and celebration to Aiden, the little boy who hugged our hearts, in true Aiden style,” said Hughson, who held back tears while reading the tribute.

Aiden’s mother, Sarah Payne, wrote a letter, also read by Hughson.

“My little boy in the wings of the highest being,” wrote Payne. “Chad and myself, along with family and friends, will miss him dearly, but don’t be sad for him, be happy and proud. Know everyone loves you. I’m leaving you a special gift with my elephant stuffy."

OPP and Central Elgin Fire stopped traffic for the funeral procession of Aiden Curtis, 11, south of St. Thomas, Ont. on July 11, 2023. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

The family also thanked the local businesses, passersby, and first responders who helped in the moments after the crash.

“Your actions and efforts that day for Aiden, Mark, Carol and Noah, and his brother, go way above and beyond, and they will be forever appreciated,” read Hughson. “Today, we stand beside you and cry with you.”

Now, the family said goodbye to their boy.

“In the next couple days, months, and as the years go by, stop by [the house] and say hello to the Curtis family,” said Wachowiak. “You are always welcome. It’s like going to mom's house.”

After the service, the procession made its way to Elmdale Memorial Park, where Aiden was laid to rest.

Chad Curtis, the father of 11-year-old Aiden Curtis, shook hands with and thanked St. Thomas Police Chief Marc Roskamp at his son’s funeral on July 11, 2023. (Brent Lale/CTV News London) Top Stories

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