Gift of the Heart

A boy dies, his girl lives on

Felipe Garza had never been considered a standout among the teenagers in the central California farming town of Patterson, Calif. Small for a 15-year-old, he did poorly in his eighth-grade class and sometimes clowned to mask his feelings of depression. His family was poor and lived in a converted motel. Yet after Felipe died last week, nearly 500 of Patterson's 4,700 residents attended his funeral to accord him the respect he had not attained in life.

Felipe had developed a crush on Donna Ashlock, 14, a freckle-faced student who worked as a waitress at the Tiger's Den Drive-in. "He loved to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!