Memorial service for Tripp Halstead reflects a young life’s large influence

Hundreds turned out Sunday afternoon and evening in Jefferson to remember 7-year-old Tripp Halstead, the North Georgia boy whose fight to recover from a traumatic brain injury more than five years ago was followed by millions around the globe. 

Tripp died Thursday after a being rushed to the hospital. In 2012, a tree branch struck then-2-year-old Tripp in the head at his Winder day care, and he spent weeks in a coma and 10 months in the hospital. 

In a late Saturday post on Facebook, Tripp’s mother Stacy Halstead wrote that she remained in shock about her son’s death. 

“Thank you for all your prayers and support and I think the world of all of you,” she wrote. “I know [you’re] hurting too. Tripp knew how much he was loved and how many people followed his story. Love you all.” 

People share hugs as local residents, family, friends and church members arrive for the Tripp Halstead memorial service at the Jefferson Civic Center on Sunday, March 18, 2018, in Jefferson. The 7-year-old died Thursday following a traumatic brain injury five years ago from a falling tree limb. Photo by Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

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Delisa Hill of Jefferson was among those who followed Tripp’s journey on Facebook. She only met Tripp once, but she said Tripp inspired people far beyond Jefferson.

“The whole city just bonded to them really quick,” said Hill, whose grandchildren attended school with Tripp. “It’s a small community and it’s hit this community really hard.”

A visitation for family and friends began at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Jefferson Civic Center, and a half-hour memorial service started at 7 p.m. The family has asked donations be made in Tripp’s name to the charity of the donor’s choice. 

To share your condolences on the online guestbook and to read more of our coverage on Tripp Halstead, visit on-ajc.com/Trippfarewell. 

To read our in-depth coverage on Tripp Halstead, click here.

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