Funeral arraignments have been finalized for the Bronx teen who died earlier this week after he collapsed during football practice, his uncle said Friday.
A wake for Dominick Bess, 14, will be held at Mount Saint Michael Academy on Friday, Sept. 1, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and again on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The funeral Mass will be offered immediately following Saturday’s viewing service, according to Bess’ uncle, Bertram Meade.
“Slowly but surely, we’re trying to absorb all of this,” Meade, 56, said on Friday.
Bess died on Tuesday after becoming unresponsive on the field of Mount Saint Michael Academy during football practice, police said. The incoming freshman had collapsed during non-contact practice, according to school officials. He was pronounced dead at Montefiore Medical Center North Division.
The medical examiner’s office said his cause of death is “pending further studies” following an initial examination.
Meade said Bess’ mother, Georgette Meade, is struggling with the death of her son but her family has been there for her.
“She’s slowly recovering. She’s trying to hang in,” he said. “It’s a very difficult time for her. The family is surrounding her, supporting her.”
A GoFundMe page was also set up to help the family cope with the cost of burying the teen. Family friend Clarice Ingram set up the page with a $25,000 goal, which had received more than $10,700 in donations by Friday evening.
“Although we know God doesn’t put more on us than we can bear, this, right now, is unbearable. We are all struggling to process this news and are seeking ways to support Georgette,” Ingram wrote on the fundraising page. “In addition to emotional support, we want to offer Georgette financial support during this most difficult and heartbreaking time. There will be numerous expenses including funeral costs and we know everyone is desperate to help in some way.”
Ingram said Bess had secured a partial merit scholarship to attend Mount Saint Michael Academy in the fall.
On the day of his death, family and close friends remembered the teen as “ambitious,” “very smart,” and “the perfect kid.” He was an honors student who had received an award for best student at his middle school graduation in June, according to Meade.
Bess will be buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx following the funeral Mass, Meade said.