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Elon community gathers to remember student who died at UNC Wednesday

Veterans Tribute
Veterans Tribute

Allison was a football player in his junior year studying management.

Jan Fuller, one of Elon’s chaplains, led the gathering and invited anyone who had a special memory of Allison or a message for those present to share with the group.

Allison’s football teammates and other Elon athletes came to show their support, along with Elon staff and faculty members.

Patrick Bell, a lecturer in management at Elon, said Allison was an enjoyable and dedicated student.

“He was just a pleasant, nice, hardworking student-athlete, just an absolute joy to have in the classroom,” Bell said.

Bell and Allison often talked about football before and after class, and Bell said he thinks football shaped Allison’s character.

“I don’t know what it is about football, that when you get to this level of a player they are just universally team-oriented, which might be why he was pursuing a management career, because it is all about teams in business today, and he was just a natural at it,” Bell said.

Allison’s family members were also present, and his father, Mark Hartman, spoke at the gathering.

“I’ve never met a person who could reach inside and touch your heart the way he did,” Hartman said. “He had the lightest heart in the world, and yet he touched everybody.”

He described his son as a gentle and kindhearted individual.

“He didn’t say much, but what he did say was kind,” Hartman said.

Bell also remembered Allison’s kindness and enthusiasm in the classroom.

“His smile is what I’m gonna miss,” Bell said.

Allison’s friends, family and teammates took the time to share memories of Allison and remember why so many people connected with him.

Fuller said the suddenness of Allison’s death brought up a lot of questions, but it’s important to focus on his life.

“There’s a lot of questions that we all have still, and it would be possible at this moment to concentrate on the why and miss the what,” Fuller said.

She said all the people gathered to remember Allison can keep him with them through their memories.

“He remains with us in our memories and in our love, and in the time we spent with him, in the laughing, in all the pieces that made him part of our lives,” Fuller said.

“So I want you not to forget to hold onto those pieces, because that’s your Demitri —he’s got those pieces in you, and he’s not gone in those ways.”

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