Remembering RJ Grantham Jr.: Family and friends gather for funeral

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Family and friends of 6-year-old Ryan Joseph Grantham Jr. gathered for his memorial and funeral on Saturday.

RJ was struck by a truck along Thurston Road last Friday.

His grandmother, Venita Brown, said. “We called him bear. He used to growl and his street friend and other friends call him captain fun because he always wanted to play. He wasn’t one who wanted to be in the house. When it was raining he wanted to go outside and meet his friends.”

Riding from FastTrac to Mount Olivet Baptist Church, those who knew RJ came together to remember the lasting impact he will have on their lives.

Paula Givens, a retired teacher from School 16 and a friend of the family, said that RJ was among the smartest in his class.

“I believe they were talking about discussing how to move him up to the third grade. That’s how bright he was. Beautiful smile. Infectious smile. Just joyous,” Givens said.

RJ was hit by a pickup truck near the corner of Thurston and Sawyer Road last Friday. When first responders arrived, RJ was lying in the middle of the road and taken to strong hospital where he died.

“We are going to stay in touch with grandma. We just exchanged numbers. My daughters. One of my daughters discussed taking food over to the family from time to time,” Givens said.

RJ’s grandmother, Venita Brown said that she hopes the community will take into account what happened to her grandson and will slow down and potentially save a life.

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