The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

'Everybody loved to watch him play'

Hillcrest Park pond victim mourned


Tony Bullocks

Laura Leeder-Martinez, center, leads a discussion at Clovis-Carver Public Library on Monday night about fundraising for the family of Gevion Lewis.

CLOVIS — When Gevion Lewis stepped to the plate, the crowds would go quiet.

"Everybody in the stands knew ... he would put on a show," said Alex Fernandez, whose son was Gevion's teammate on the Clovis Crush softball team.

"He would hit home runs like it was nothing. It's not common for a 12-year-old to hit home runs. Out of the park home runs. He had a natural swing. Everybody loved to watch him play."

There was a lot to love about Gevion, friends said on Monday as they mourned his passing.

The boy pulled from Hillcrest Park's pond on July 4 was removed from a respirator and died Saturday night in Lubbock's Covenant Children's Hospital.

He turned 13 eight days after the accident. He never regained consciousness after being under the water for about 10 minutes.

Fernandez said he will miss more than Gevion's considerable athletic skills.

"He was a real sweet person. He always had a smile on his face. I've never seen him upset. If the guys were losing, he'd still be smiling. He loved to play," Fernandez said.

Pastor Bonetta Hutson met Gevion and his mother, Shawnita Jones, through Living Word Church about five years ago.

Hutson drove the church bus and said she sometimes "hit the bumps" a little fast.

"Gevion was notorious for yelling, 'Go Miss B' and his mom would be like, 'No, Miss B,'" Hutson said.

"He was always a cutup. He was funny. And he was smart."

And he loved to play basketball.

"That was his No. 1 sport," Hutson said. "That's all he wanted to do.

"But he wasn't an aggressive kid. You know how boys can be, but he was never that way. He was a fair player and he would help somebody else so they could be a better player."

By all accounts, he excelled in every sport, and so it was no surprise he was swimming with friends on July 4.

"They were trying to see who could go the fastest and he got tired and panicked and went down," his mother said soon after the accident.

First responders were on the scene four minutes after receiving a call for help, officials said, and quickly located him and carried him to a waiting ambulance. His friends tried to rescue him also, but were unable to pull him from the murky water, police reports show.

Services were not immediately announced, but plans were put into motion to help the family with medical expenses and funeral arrangements.

One group met Monday night at the Clovis-Carver Public Library and talked about a fund-raising softball tournament.

LeAnna Montano, another family friend, started a gofundme page — — last week.

It had raised only about $100 going into the weekend. By Monday night, that total had grown to almost $2,500.

The family was also swarmed with tributes.

"I went to church with his mom," Penny Hendren said. "I call her my sister. Gevion and my son were born a day apart so they were very close.

"He was real funny, always laughing. He was just a good kid. Real respectful."


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