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Guilderland mourns the loss of Anthony and Eddy Chen

Oct. 11, 2014—The district is now able to release the names of the two young Guilderland Elementary School students who were among the victims of Wednesday’s tragic crime on Western Avenue in the Town of Guilderland. Fifth grader Anthony Chen and his younger brother, Eddy, a second grader, were both lost along with their parents, Hai Yan Li and Jin Feng Chen.

Anthony and Eddy were kind, gentle and joyful boys, said GES Principal Allan Lockwood. Quiet by nature, they loved being in school and were friends with all of their classmates. They also clearly loved each other. Each morning they would walk in to school together from the bus and they always had a smile on their faces. Anthony would look out for his brother and Eddy was quick to tell others, “That’s my brother!”

Anthony, born May 28, 2004, loved to draw and often sketched intricate designs in his notebook. Many friends were impressed with his work and thought he would grow up to be an architect. Anthony loved animals and took good care of the school's therapy dog, Bailey. He also greatly enjoyed being a part of the school's Garden Club. Club advisor Lois McDonald said that Anthony was one of the most enthusiastic members of the club, and that he loved the freedom of the space to explore the elements of nature he found there; figuring out how and why things worked captured Anthony’s attention. He loved planting, digging, and watering and was often placed in charge of groups of students.

Eddy, born April 5, 2007, was excited about learning and loved listening to stories. He was curious by nature and truly lit up when conducting science experiments. Eddy loved to write stories about doing things with his family like bowling. He also shared his brother's love of nature, and joined him earlier this fall as a member of the Garden Club. Eddy was a curious and keen observer in the garden area, and was fascinated by the sunflowers gone to seed. He spent a recent meeting harvesting the seeds from the flower-head, carefully and gently planting and
watering them. Eddy embraced the spirit of the club, and independently found areas of interest to examine and explore.

Anthony and Eddy made a lasting impression on everyone around them. They will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the people whose lives Anthony and Eddy touched—their family, teachers and friends.