I believe the most common phrase we heard over the last few months was ‘there are no words.’ I believe this is true in another sense as well: “There are no words to express our gratitude to the friends, family and community that have shown immense support during the difficult time our family endured with the loss of our beloved son and brother, Evan Battani. From the home-cooked meals to endless flowers, donations, a simple call, text or letter to let us know you were thinking of us, we have been overwhelmed with pride and appreciation for the love our family has been shown. God truly has surrounded us with amazing people.

Thank you to all who came to celebrate Evan’s life with us at our home. We are guessing that 800-900 people stopped in through the day. Again, this shows the impact Evan had in his 14 short years on this earth and in this community. We are extremely proud of who he was as well as the effect he continues to have on so many.

For those of you that did not hear, the cause of Evan’s death was listed as myocarditis. Simply put, it was an inflammation of the heart tissue “most likely” caused by a virus. No signs or symptoms had made themselves evident, but it caused his heart to just stop beating while he slept.

The years ahead are not going to be easy. There are still many tears to be shed, and many questions that will be pondered and left unanswered. We miss him every second of every day. Every menial task and event reminds us of him. Every football, track and wrestling meeting, every dirty pile of clothes on the floor, every chewed plastic pen cap and every Notre Dame shirt on a passerby will create a lump in our throats for years to come. As many have noted, you don’t get over it, you just learn to live with it. That is what we all must do whether we want to or not. As for us here, there are still 7 other children to care for and love and we know Evan wouldn’t want it any other way. 

For those that know us well, there is only one thing keeping us moving forward and that is our Faith. The belief that one day we will be able to hold Evan in our arms once again motivates us to work at loving our God in all that we do, say and think.

One of Evan’s favorite movies and books was “Heaven is for Real.” We take comfort in knowing that is where God took him. At Evan’s celebration, we handed out nearly 150 books and movies to the youth as they visited because we knew Evan would want them to enjoy the book or movie as much as he did. He wants everyone to know that Heaven IS for real. If you would like a copy of the book or movie, please email Rene@dealercards.net and we will gladly send you a copy. We know Evan would love for you to have one.

We hope that Evan’s passing leads you to pray more, leads you to show kindness at every opportunity, and in the end, leads you to God.

Thank you all so much and may God bless you.


—Rick, Rene, Jacob, Aubrey, Robbie, Chase, Payton, Bryson, Mila, and of course, Evan Battani