Estee Alexander Gober, 3, who died March 21, will be remembered by a White Hall Little League team that wears a pink memorial patch on their uniforms in her honor.
The team, sponsored by Cranford Funeral Home, wore the patch for the first time two weeks ago and defeated the White Hall Journal team.
“The community hugged our family with their generosity and love,” said Chance Gober, the girl’s father. “We didn’t have life insurance and they contributed more than $7,000 to cover the funeral costs and the grave marker.”
Estee’s brother, Jack Gober, plays on the team, which returned to action recently. Ashley Young, wife of the team’s coach, Jason Young, said Estee had been a familiar sight at the ballpark “since she was barely walking. She was a ballpark baby.”
Ashley said a number of wives and mothers discussed an appropriate memorial for Estee and first considered a red ribbon, but decided the patch would be more permanent.
That’s where Amanda Herring, Ashley’s sister, entered the picture. She had access to an embroidery machine and the design skills, explained Ashley.
Amanda, a recent early child education graduate, designed the oval pink patch with a crown and Estee’s name.
“We wanted something pink because that was her favorite color,” said Amanda. “She loved to dress up like a little princess, so the crown was appropriate.”
A team mother sewed the patches on the jerseys in time for the first game.
“The ballpark community is close and we knew the Gober family, which is large, didn’t have insurance to cover the burial expenses, so we pitched in to help,” explained Ashley. A fund was quickly established at Simmons First National Bank to pay those expenses.
“It might be amazing in some towns, but it is the established response for White Hall,” said Amanda, who hopes to teach here.
“The boys on the team know the family and wanted to reach out this way to the Gobers,” added Amanda.
“If I sat down and wrote a ‘thank you’ card to everyone who reached out to our family during this difficult time, I would be writing a year from now,” Chance Gober said recently while watching Jack’s team play another game wearing Estee’s patch.
Heather Glass Gober, Estee’s mother, who grew up in White Hall said Estee loved and idolized her brothers. The sound of her laughter was never more prevalent than when she was playing with the brothers.
“It was not unusual to see her dressed in her princess dress catching tadpoles with her brothers,” said Heather Gober. “Her presence completed this family.”
Funeral services for Estee were held March 26, with burial following in Drake Cemetery at Star City.