Fred Gillmore Harrold
Fred Gillmore (Gil) Harrold, 16, of 4317 Durango, died in Van Horn Sunday, April 10, 1977 during a backpacking trip with 23 other students and five adult sponsors after a sudden illness.
The other 23 studends and five adult sponsors on the trip left the Gila Wilderness shortly after noon New Mexico time Monday for the return trip to Odessa.
The 28 persons are to arrive back in Odessa about 11:30 p.m. Monday, according to Supt. Bill Holm who has been in contact with the trip sponsors Ron Pressly and Henry Sickels.
The group was to stop in El Paso and phone Holm to see what measures if any should be taken. Holm has alerted the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide any assistance necessary on the return trip.
Families of the students have been notified to contact their personal physicians as soon as possible.
The Harrold youth apparently became ill on the school bus Saturday morning after the group spent the night in El Paso. He was treated at a clinic on Silver City, N.M., where the illness was first diagnosed as flu.
He was taken to Deming, N.M., to catch a commercial bus home after his parents had been notified. He became ill on the bus and the driver stopped in Van Horn, where the youth was taken to a hospital. He died at the hospital early Sunday morning.
An autopsy listed the cause of death tentatively as a form of meningitis that is contracted only through direct contact.
According to Holm, none of the other students nor advisors have complained of illness.
Services for the Permian High School sophomore are set at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home chapel, with burial following that afternoon at 4 p.m. in a graveside service at Breckenridge Cemetery.
Harrold was born Sept. 17, 1960, in Breckenridge. He moved to Odessa in 1963 from Breckenridge and was a member of Bethany Christian Church. He played junior varsity football at PHS, Little League baseball and was a Boy Scout.
Survivors include his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Phillip Harrold Sr. of the home address; a brother Roger Phillp Harrold Jr. and a sister Julie Harrold, both of the home; his grandmother, Julia Harrold of Mineral Wells; and his grandfather, Roger Harrold of Tucson, AZ.
The family requests that memorials be directed to the Bethany Christian Church
Odessa American, Monday, April 11, 1977