Elna Nandako Nyongesa died in Newark on Saturday, Nov. 11, her obituary says.
"With heavy hearts, we share the heartbreaking loss of Elna Nyongesa, who was suddenly taken from us on November 11, 2023," reads a GoFundMe for her family.
"Elna, our shining star, was a student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology who tragically died after falling from the parking deck at her school, leaving behind a devastated family and community seeking answers."
Details in the fall were not immediately available. Daily Voice has reached out to NJIT for comment.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Elna moved to the United States with her family when she was young, moving to South Plainfield in 2017.
She graduated from South Plainfield Middle and High Schools before attending Montclair State University, then transferring to NJIT to study computer science, her memorial says.
Elna worked at Starbucks in both Piscataway and the South Plainfield Target while she was in high school, as well as taking on a cashier job in a local convenience store. She also volunteered with the Environmental Science Club, participated in the Jersian’s History Club, and played basketball for three years.
Elna’s free time was spent exploring her creative side with activities like sketching, photography, and music. She also loved engineering and built her own PC from scratch, her obituary says, adding that she “rarely needed a manual to put things together.”
Elna had a one-of-a-kind personality and leaves a legacy of adventure, compassion, and loyalty.
“She looked to help those around her as much as she could, and she was a good and faithful friend,” reads her obituary.
“She kept a positive outlook on life, and aimed to make those around her laugh. With an eye for detail, Elna was diligent and took a lot of care in everything she did, making sure projects were always done right, and to the best of her ability.”
Elna is survived by her loving mother, Esther Wafula; cherished father Paul Masibo; siblings Elsa, Hadasha, and Ethan; step-father Ronald Dismuke; as well as several extended family members and close friends.
Nearly $5,500 had been raised on the GoFundMe launched for Elna’s final expenses as of Tuesday, Nov. 21.
A memorial was scheduled for Friday, Dec. 15, the campaign says.
“Elna was always full of life and love for her friends and family,” reads Elna’s obituary.
“She left a significant impression on everyone she met. Her passing is not just a personal loss but a profound loss to our entire community.”
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