Mom to honor late son with scholarship

Published 7:58 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

CHOCOWINITY — A Chocowinity woman has begun efforts to raise funds for a scholarship to be presented in memory of her late son.

Artis Demoreo’ Williams, known to many of his friends as Moreo’, died July 22. 2018 after battling sickle cell anemia his entire life. His mother, Edythe Williams, has changed roles from being his caregiver to making sure he is remembered.

“He was diagnosed when he was one month old,” Williams said of her son. “There were a lot of hospitalizations with his lung problems and a brain aneurysm. He had issues with his legs and when he was in second grade he had to have his gall bladder removed.”

But throughout it all, Moreo’ wanted to pursue his educational goals.

“Oh, he loved school so much,” Williams recalled. “His desire was to finish high school and then go to college and work in the medical field, either as a brain surgeon or an x-ray technologist.”

Moreo’ did indeed accomplish part of his goal. He graduated from Southside High School in Chocowinity in 2006 and then enrolled at Pitt Community College in Greenville.

“But because of his illness and being in the hospital so much, the professors said it was best for him to drop out and try again when his health improved,” Williams said. “A year or two later, he enrolled in Pitt again but his health continued to deteriorate.”

Last year, Moreo’ had to undergo heart surgery in January; the doctors told his parents he would never leave the hospital.

“But God touched his body, and he came home,” Williams said with tears in her eyes.

His body worn out, Moreo’ returned to the hospital a week later and the following months were filled with extended hospital visits until he breathed his last.

As a youngster, Moreo’ was a sickle cell anemia poster child for North Carolina, according to his mother. He appeared on radio and television broadcasts and was a host child for the fundraising telethon.

Although he was denied his college diploma, his mother wants to see another struggling student accomplish his or her goals.

“Because of his love for school, I want to be able to have this scholarship for another child who wants to work in the medical field,” Williams said. “This will help keep my son’s

memory alive.”

The first scholarship will be presented to a graduating senior of the Class of 2020 from Southside High School.

Williams is in the process of setting up a Go Fund Me account on Facebook. She is also selling T-shirts and planning a yard sale, bake sale and silent auction. The yard sale is set for March 16 at the Chocowinity Fire Department.

The big event will be a catered banquet set for Aug. 17, which would have been the day Moreo’ turned 31 years old. Tickets will be sold in advance and the gathering will be held at Washington Assembly of God Church, according to Williams.

Anyone wishing to make a cash donation, or to give items for the yard sale, may contact Williams at 252-623-8550. Checks may be mailed to her at 1980 Clay Bottom School Road, Chocowinity, NC 27817.