Candlelight vigil hosted for Cortez Kennedy - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Candlelight vigil hosted for Cortez Kennedy

(Source: NFL Hall of Fame website) (Source: NFL Hall of Fame website)
Balloon release at vigil (Source: KAIT) Balloon release at vigil (Source: KAIT)
Candles laid in Kennedy's number 79 (Source: KAIT) Candles laid in Kennedy's number 79 (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
WILSON, AR (KAIT) -

An NFL Hall of Famer and Northeast Arkansas native was honored with a candlelight vigil Wednesday night before he is laid to rest.

The town of Wilson announced on their Facebook page the vigil for Cortez Kennedy at 7:30 p.m. at the Rivercrest Stadium, also known as "The Cotton Patch."

According to the post, attendees were encouraged to wear red and gray colors to represent Rivercrest or any Cortez Kennedy memorabilia.

Several at the vigil said Cortez was someone everybody wanted to be around.

“He was loving and kind and I meant the world to him and he meant the world to me and I will miss him,” said Courtney Kennedy, Cortez’s daughter. “I will miss him.”

One of Cortez's former coaches said he won’t just be remembered as a good football player.

“That is what speaks volumes about him, not his accomplishments, but who he was as a person,” said Mike Smith. “And though he is gone, he will not be forgotten.”

Attendees also released balloons at the vigil.

“He had no 'can't' in him,” Leonard Ridley, a former classmate, said. “And he can and he did it and he accomplished his goal in life. Because his legacy of peace and love in Mississippi County will continue. If there can be anybody that played in the NFL that goes to heaven, it will be Cortez Kennedy.”

Funeral services for Kennedy will be held Thursday.

The pro footballer passed away on May 23 at the age of 48.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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