Eric Brian Little was born April 4,1956, to Laban and Evelyn R. (nee Jackson) Little. Raised and educated in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Eric graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in the class of 1975. Eric participated in PAL sports and played high school basketball. While in high school he was selected for participation in the Carpenters Union Local #715 apprenticeship work study program. Excited by the opportunity of becoming a Carpenter Journeymen, Eric attended school by day, the carpentry school at night and still worked part time for four years.
An avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast, Eric enjoyed hunting, football, basketball, baseball, bowling, swimming, tennis, racquetball, skiing, roller skating, fishing, crabbing, firearms, rodeos, horseback riding, biking, photography, and motorcycles. Among his favorite memories to retell was hunting with his beloved Uncle Fred and going to see the NY Jets with his father.
Eric will be remembered for helping to organize the annual Warinanco Park Good Old Days Summertime Cookout get together, manning the grill and his constant talking. He volunteered at the Senior Center and visited the sick and shut in. Eric was a constant at the School #1 community center, encouraging youth to do their best to achieve their goals. He wanted the young people to dream big, educate yourself, overcome your challenges with confidence and set the plan to move forward. Eric was an advocate for adult literacy and encouraged folks to work with their strengths to achieve their goals. He was mentored by many and in turn mentored others. His smile and zest for life will be missed.
Eric was the eldest of three children, his siblings Dwan and Gary (Jackie) Little will remember their experiences swimming at the shore, night trips to Coney Island, spaghetti dinners, fish and crab feasts, Fulton Street fun and the Little family functions.Eric married once to Gale Wactor, while their marriage wouldn’t last forever as they’d hoped, Eric embraced Gale’s daughter Cheron as his own. Eric and Cheron shared a unique and loving bond, she was “My Cherony” and he was her “Old Man”. It may seem like a non-traditional family unit from the outside, but Eric’s bond with Cheron was no different than if they’d been related by blood.
His nephews and nieces Romi, Summer, Ashlei and Khalil Graves; and Arianna Little mourn the loss of their Uncle Eric.
Dwan, Gary and Cheron extend our appreciation to his friends who looked out for Eric in recent years. A special thank you to Janet Cameron, Edith and Harold Boyd, Deborah Banks, Robert Gass, Dr. Raymond Biongovi, his godson Lawrence Good and all others who loved him through life. We also appreciate the collective love and support from the Way, Walton, Carrington,Newcomb, Hall and Willilams/Melvin families. A special shout out to the Graham family and youth sports community for showing the love for an Eastwick brother.
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