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Marlowe Middle School in Huntley grieving after 7th-grade student dies unexpectedly

James “Jimmy” Kilanski, 13, of Huntley | Photo: GoFundMe / Jessica Sadler.

A 13-year-old student of Marlowe Middle School in Huntley died unexpectedly Monday as the school continues to grieve with the loss, officials said.

James “Jimmy” Kilanski, 13, was a student in Mrs. Stewart’s seventh grade class, according to Marlowe Middle School Principal Tony Venetico.

“We are all grieving this tragic loss and offer our deepest condolences to the Kilanski family, his many friends, his classmates, the teachers and staff members that learned alongside him, and to all who knew Jimmy,” Venetico said in a statement.

“This loss has left us heartbroken, and our school community will struggle to process this news for some time,” he added.

Social workers, counseling staff and administrative staff were providing support to students and staff members at the school. A school-wide moment of silence took place Tuesday morning.

McHenry County Interim Coroner John Miller told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that James’ death is not believed to be suspicious in nature.

A cause of death is pending as the coroner’s office awaits toxicology and pathologist reports along with other testing, Miller said.

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“Students and staff members are encouraged to reach out to any staff member they are comfortable with if they feel a need to express their feelings or ask any questions. If your child is struggling to process this information, we also encourage families to contact the school to be put in touch with resources that can help,” Venetico said in the statement.

Comfort dogs from Lutheran Church Charities were at the school Tuesday.

“Jimmy was an energetic, thoughtful, kind, friendly, caring, and loving 13 year old boy. He enjoyed giving big hugs, playing Fortnite, playing with LEGOS, spending time with his family and friends, riding his scooter, Scouting, watching Star Wars and Dr. Who, and many other activities,” Jessica Sadler said in a GoFundMe post.

A GoFundMe account has already raised nearly $14,000 for funeral expenses. James leaves behind his parents, Jim and Jessica, his brother Zach, and his sister Xanie.


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