ST. PETERS, MO – The community of St. Peters, Missouri, is in mourning following the devastating loss of Hollenbeck Middle School’s sixth-grader, Eli Bretz. The 6th-grade student tragically passed away on September 4, 2023, after a fatal ATV accident, leaving those who knew him in shock and grief.
The heartbreaking news of Eli Bretz’s passing was confirmed through a heartfelt Facebook post that read, “Please pray for the family of this sweet little guy. He was a 6th grader at Hollenbeck. His name is Eli Bretz. He was killed in an ATV accident yesterday.” The news sent shockwaves through the community, as friends, family, and fellow students struggled to come to terms with the loss of a young life filled with promise.
Eli Bretz was more than just a student; he was a beloved member of his school community. His infectious smile and boundless enthusiasm endeared him to both educators and classmates. Eli was a model of generosity, originality, and perseverance, in addition to being an outstanding student. His positive energy was contagious, earning him the endearing nickname “ray of sunshine” among his teachers.
One of Eli’s most admirable traits was his unwavering compassion and concern for others. He made it his mission to be everyone’s friend, ensuring that no one ever felt alone. His creative spirit was another of his remarkable qualities. Eli possessed artistic talents and found immense satisfaction in expressing his personality through various creative outlets.
Eli was known for his determination and resilience. He faced challenges with unwavering persistence and a “never give up” mentality, inspiring his fellow students to persevere in their own endeavors. His ability to remain strong in the face of adversity served as an inspiration to his peers.
Eli’s insatiable curiosity drove him to explore topics beyond the classroom curriculum. Always eager to broaden his horizons, he was frequently seen with a book in hand. His educators recognized the potential in his thirst for knowledge and actively supported his natural curiosity.
Eli’s sense of humor was cherished by all who knew him. His witty comments and entertaining stories never failed to bring smiles and laughter to those around him.
In the wake of this tragic loss, a GoFundMe campaign has been initiated by Sarah Theobald to support Eli Bretz’s family with funeral and memorial expenses. The initial goal of the campaign was set at $10,000, but at the time of this report, it has surpassed expectations with a total of $12,215 raised through the generosity of 201 donors.
Eli Bretz’s untimely passing has left a void in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. The community joins together in mourning the loss of a remarkable young individual who brought light and inspiration to the lives he touched.