Parents of teen pulled from Tule River want him remembered for his life, not death


A Strathmore family is finding closure after the body of 16-year-old Michael Edes was recovered. His parents said right now he’s thought of as “the boy who died in the river,” but they want everyone to know he was so much more.

“When (his father) first told me I just kind of went numb, and then I didn’t break down until I called my dad. It was like having to say it out loud is what killed me,” Sheila Gundy, Michael’s mother said.

Michael was swept away by the Tule River last month and his body was located Wednesday.

“I’m devastated that I can’t see the future for him anymore. As a parent that’s hard because you have these plans for what it’s going to be, you know? And it’s gone,” John Hunt, Michael’s father said Thursday.

Gundy said even though logically she knew Michael was gone, up until now there was always the hope of a miracle.

“When they find him it’s like you know, you really know he’s not coming home,” Gundy said.

Hunt said he wants his son remebered for the right reasons.

“I feel like the hardest thing right now is he’s just being remembered as the boy who died in the river. That’s disgusting and rough,” he said.

Michael’s parents don’t want him to remembered for how he died, but instead how he lived.

“He was the center of attention, he craved it. He had everybody smiling and he loved to dance and sing. He’d come right in here, ‘Dad I have a song I want you to listen to,'” Hunt said.

They said he was an entertainer, loving and clever.

“He was smart. He was so smart and he was funny,” Gundy said.

She said the healing process can start now, but the world will never be the same without Michael.

“People will never get to know how absolutely incredible he was,” she said.

Michael’s parents said they are very thankful to the search and rescue teams, who did not stop until they brought Michael home.

The family is now planning Michael’s funeral. Anyone who would like to help can donate to Webbs Funeral Home in Lindsay, CA.

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