A family and community remember the life of eight year old Chakur Tolbert, the child who was killed in an accidental cooking fire the evening of Friday, July 27.
The funeral was held at Zion Baptist church in Saginaw where every pew was filled with people recalling the young life lost. Those who knew him describe Tolbert as very happy young person. "He was a good kid. Well-mannered and he always kept me laughing when I went over to visit him. Always had a big smile on his face," says Paul Rodgers. Tolbert's uncle, Ali Rogers adds, "[he] kept a big smile on his face whenever you saw him he was just always smiling. Just a real good kid."
Many cousins lived close to the Cherry Street home where Tolbert died. "They lived right around the corner from our house. We didn't know and when we found out it was devastating," says cousin Aliyah Perry.
Those who knew Tolbert say they have hope. "Very religious family, trusting in the Lord. Big, strong love for one another," says Rogers. "Nothing is really happy but it's joyous to know he was a good kid in God's will and we will see him when we get to heaven. We know that's where he's at," says Rodgers.
Until then, family members say they will miss his smile most.
If you would like to help the family, a fund has been set up at Citizens Bank located on Washington Avenue in Saginaw. Fire officials say no working smoke detectors were in the home at the time of the fire.