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A Remarkable Boy Is Laid to Rest : Memorial: Family and friends recall Nicholas Green, whose organs were donated to other children after he was slain by Italian bandits.

October 09, 1994| Associated Press

BODEGA BAY, Calif. — A 7-year-old boy whose violent death on a European vacation helped bring life to five young Italians was buried Saturday, his brief but meaningful existence recalled by relatives, friends and classmates.

"He has already helped save the lives of other children and indirectly perhaps many more in the future," Nicholas Green's father, Reginald, told relatives and friends at a reception after the funeral at St. Teresa Avila Catholic Church on the outskirts of this coastal community 50 miles north of San Francisco. "He could have lived to 100 and done less.

"He also has struck a spark of love in the hearts of millions of parents and children around the world," Green added. "If this isn't immortality, it must surely come close."

The family donated the boy's organs for transplant, an act viewed in Italy as an outstanding example of generosity.

Nicholas was asleep in the back seat of a car beside his 4-year-old sister, Eleanor, when gunmen shot him in an attempted highway robbery.

On Saturday, Eleanor peered over the side of the grave and waved goodby as her brother's casket was lowered into the hillside cemetery.

About 135 people, including representatives of the Italian government and members of the Italian media, squeezed into the tiny church near Bodega Bay.

Teachers said Nicholas was a remarkable child whose hero was Julius Caesar. The vacation in Italy had followed a summer of reading ancient history.

"We didn't know it, but this quiet little boy was an angel and obviously a very effective one because he got his job done in seven years," a teacher said.

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