Ezra Jude Trager-Tarrant, an Albuquerque High School junior with a gift for music and devotion to friends and his tight-knit family, died Wednesday at University of New Mexico Hospital, devastating his loved ones. He was 16.
The “beautiful boy,” as his mother, Beth Tarrant called him, had been hospitalized after feeling under the weather a few days ago. Doctors discovered blood clots in both lungs. Ezra died of cardiac arrest despite heroic efforts to save him.
Only four weeks earlier, he used his college savings to buy his own French Horn. The green-eyed boy with curly-brown hair had plans to attend college to study music and become a professional musician. Through the amazing mentorship of teachers at school and in his community, he had discovered the joy that playing music brought to his soul.
“Ezra said, that’s when he felt most alive,” his mother said.
Ezra loved to laugh and make people laugh. He had a tender soul but an East Coast edginess that traced to his father, Justin Trager of New York, and his mother, a native of New Jersey.
Ezra had a loving circle of adults who, in important ways, helped raise him. They included some of his parents’ close friends, who served as surrogate family in the absence of aunts or grandparents nearby. He and his little sister, Maeve, 12, were allies.
“He loved his sister dearly,” his mother said. “She adored him.”
Ezra attended A Child’s Garden Pre-school, Zia Elementary School, Jefferson Middle School, and since age 10, Ezra spent summers with Circo Latino, where he learned to juggle, made music, and more recently, became a staff member.
In school, Ezra excelled at academics and formed many friendships. He cared deeply for his friends who were an important source of happiness.
But music was where he poured his heart. He played in AHS marching, symphonic, and jazz bands. He was a member of Albuquerque Youth Symphony, participated in All State and Southwest Honor Band, and was awarded multiple honors for piano composition.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic and national directives this week for Americans to remain home to contain its further spread, plans for a celebration of his life are on hold.
“The last thing that he would ever want would be for people to become sick from coming together to honor him,” said his mother, who is a midwife at UNM Hospital. His father works for Future Focused Education, also in Albuquerque.
In addition to his parents and sister, Ezra is survived by grandparents, Patti Rice and Ray Rice of Rifton, N.Y.; Neil Trager and Christine Lund of Santa Fe, N.M.; and Ann Lovett of Ashland, Ore.; aunt Lisa Trager and uncle Adrian Walters and cousin Fiona Walters of Melrose, Mass.; aunt Katy Tarrant of Mount Laurel, N.J.; uncle Edward and aunt Mari Tarrant of Spring Hill, Fla., and cousins Micheal and Genis Tarrant; aunt Sandy Tarrant of Boston, Mass.; and uncle Andrew Tarrant of Branchburg, N.J.
In the efforts made to save Ezra’s life, a large amount of the blood supply at UNM Hospital was used. The family encourages adults who are in good health to consider donating blood as a way to honor Ezra. He would never want someone to go without what is needed because of what was used to try to help him.
In lieu of memorial services at this time of coronavirus, digital remembrances may be left online at: https://bit.ly/EzraMemories
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions may be made to Albuquerque High Band Boosters, P.O. Box 35803, ABQ, NM 87176 or online at: https://bit.ly/AHSBandBoosters .
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ezra Trager-Tarrant, please visit our floral store.