Brantley welcomes Braden Greene home after mother’s tragic death

Published 12:35 pm Sunday, July 9, 2023

By Haley Mitchell-Godwin

In the face of unimaginable tragedy, the small town of Brantley rallied together to welcome home Braden Greene, a young boy who recently lost his mother in a devastating automobile accident that shook the community on June 18. Community members gathered to create a memorable welcome home celebration on June 27, a welcome that left both Greene and his family deeply moved and grateful.

 Greene’s aunts, Portia Pitts and Lakita Pitts, expressed their deep gratitude to the town and the community of Brantley, stating that the continued love and support from the community will help them navigate the challenges and pain they face after the loss of Greene’s mother, Kenya Anderson. As they continue to grieve and heal, they family memebers said they know they can lean on the strength and unity of their community.

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“What a wonderful welcome home celebration for Bray,” Portia Pitts said. “We can’t thank you all enough. Everything was perfect, from the police and fire department escorts to the cheering as we passed through Luverne and when we made it Brantley, wow there were people everywhere starting at the school and ending at Peachez’s house. To hear Braden’s teammates and classmates chanting his name as we drove by, all the sign’s saying, ‘Welcome home Bray,’ all of it made his heart smile and mine. I can’t thank you all enough, especially Mrs. Abigail Wood, Lori Ann Person, and Rashadd Daniels for pulling it off in such a short period of time. I am sure I forgot to mention someone, but please forgive me. We Love and thank you all so much.”

Braden’s aunt Lakita Pitts also expressed her heartfelt gratitude.

“To the town and community of Brantley, we the family of Kenya Anderson and the Pitts family can’t thank you all enough for all the love and support you all have shown and continue to show our family during this difficult time,” Pitts said.  “Please continue to pray for Braden my Mister, Arthurine Pitts and Lee Anderson. We love you all so very much.”

Another of Greene’s aunts shared her deep appreciation for what the community has done.

“Words can not convey how thankful and grateful we are for the love and support that has been shown,” said Katherine Pitts Oates “To our hometown Brantley and other surrounding communities-God’s blessings to you all.”

Andrea Raines Bailey, a Brantley citizen, described the homecoming as a miraculous event. “I got to watch a miracle come home today!” Bailey said. “God showed out tonight! I am so thankful to be a part of a town that comes together and rallies for those in need!” 

Bailey expressed her admiration for Anderson and described how the mother had been a guiding light for her during a dark time. She emphasized the love and kindness that radiated from the entire family and expressed her unwavering belief that God would provide them with strength and healing.

JoLynne Chandler, a resident of Brantley, also expressed her pride and gratitude for her hometown. She emphasized the resilience and compassion of the community, saying, “Today just makes me love my hometown even more.  I am thankful to have been raised here and still reside here. We will always pray for Braden and his family and are so glad he’s finally home!”

Greene’s grandmother, Arthurine Pitts,  said the family is still struggling to wrap their minds around what happened. However, Pitts said that she and the entire family will be forever grateful for all of the love and support they have received from their community.

“I want to thank everyone for all of your prayers first and foremost, and for your calls, texts, visits,hugs, food, monetary blessings and just whatever you may have done in support of us during this time as Braden and I transition to life without his mom,” she said. “This is so hard and I thank God for out blessing of living in this community.”

Community members viewed Greene’s homecoming is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, unity and compassion can bring healing and hope. The outpouring of love from Brantley, serves as an inspiration for communities everywhere, showing that in times of tragedy, we can come together to uplift and support one another.

Greene’s journey to healing may be challenging, but with the ongoing support and prayers from the town and beyond, he can find solace in knowing that he is not alone. The warm embrace of the community will continue to uplift him