By Celia Funk
When seven-year-old Nigel Weber died in April, his parents decided to honor him with something that would last much longer than an ordinary memorial service: a playground in his name. They have set up a fund for the Nigel Weber Memorial Playground, which will be located in Riverfront Park.
Nigel lived just 20 days short of his eighth birthday. He died at home on April 4, 2014 for reasons neither his doctors nor his parents understand. When he complained of severe abdominal pain on Wednesday, April 2, his parents took him to the emergency room, but a variety of tests and scans gave no indication what the problem was. He stayed home on Thursday, too sick to go to school, and on Friday morning, his mother called 911 again even though it was too late. Autopsies have revealed nothing conclusive about his illness.
During his life, Nigel loved his home of Corvallis. He enjoyed nature, photography, sailing, gardening, and cooking.
The memorial playground, situated at Shawala Point in Riverfront Park, will be a tribute to his love of nature. Through its tribal art themes, it will also reflect his interest in other cultures, and although he never took his dream trip to Iguazu Falls in South America, his playground can help children imagine they’re exploring foreign places they may never be able to visit.
To commemorate Nigel and make his parents’ dream a reality, community members can donate to the fund through the memorial website, www.amemorialfornigel.org.