June 28, 2020

Amanuel T Kildea

Amanuel Tamirat Kildea, of Long Valley, New Jersey, took his own life on Sunday, June 28, 2020.  Amani was the son of Tom and Janice Kildea, who adopted him in 2005 when he was five.  He was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but he was a proud American, through and through.

Amani leaves behind his parents, and his brother James and his sister Jennifer.  His siblings looked up to him, admired him, and loved him deeply.  He is also survived by his “Pop-pop,” James Muller, his birth-mother, Genet, in Ethiopia, and many aunts, uncles and cousins, who delighted in him and loved him.

Amani was a natural athlete; he loved basketball the most.  He would have liked to have been a great football player, but he was also wonderfully and beautifully slender.  (A distinct disadvantage.)  As a child, he was happiest with a friend and a ball.

He was exceptionally bright.  He was terrific at games and he hated to lose. His native language was Amharic, but he picked up English almost immediately upon his arrival in the US.  His language miscues were always endearing.  (A cold day might be “frisky.”  A “lazy Susan” was a “spinning Mary.”)  And he was funny.

Amani was sensitive, tender-hearted, gentle and kind.  He was a great listener, and he loved to listen to family stories.  He felt deeply, observed closely.  He was broken in ways that very few could see or would ever know.

He dreamed of a career in the FBI or CIA.  The idea of a boring desk job was abhorrent to him.  His proudest moment was his graduation from basic training as an MP in the United States Army Reserves in February.  His parents were so proud of the young man he was becoming, even as that process of his becoming was so difficult for him.  He was looking ahead to attending James Madison University in the Fall.  He often dreamed about a family of his own.

Amani cherished his time with his friends, who meant the world to him.  Everyone who met him, who knew him, young and old, admired him and loved him.  He doubted that, but we knew it to be true.

Although life with Amani was often challenging at home, we loved him dearly. His departure from us and from this world is an unspeakable tragedy for us all.  He will be a part of our family forever, and we trust he is safe in the arms of Jesus.  O dear, sweet boy, Amani!  We love you!

His Memorial Service will be private.  Amani’s family wants you to know that they feel your love more than you can imagine.

.In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center (29 Pleasant Grove Rd., Port Murray, NJ 07865), or any organization dedicated to suicide prevention.

Arrangements are by the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna, NJ 973-584-7264 (davishepplewhitefh.com)






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