Local community says final goodbyes

Published 08/30 2014 06:04PM

Updated 08/30 2014 06:16PM

Family and friends remember a teen who died tragically in a fight at school.

 The 18-year-old’s life was celebrated at the Natchitoches Event Center on Saturday.

Johnquaries Smith was loved by everyone.

“It’s sad to see that it was him that this happened to,” said one of his friends.

Linda Smith is Johnquaries’ aunt. She said she just wanted today to be a celebration of life.

“We have closure, we have peace,” she said.

A memorial was set up in the front of the room. There were pictures of Johnquaries from when he was a baby, his senior portrait and even his football jersey.

Natchitoches Central High School head football coach, Brandon Helms, walked up to the podium and spoke directly to the family.

“I know you feel like you’ve lost someone, but the fact is, you’ve gained 112,” Helms said.

He is talking about the 112 football teammates that sat in the crowd.

“We just want to do it big for 53,” said one teammate.

Linda Smith left the service with one last request.

“I would like to ask our young people to just love one another and know that God loves you,” Smith said.

After the funeral, the plan was for everyone to go straight to the cemetery, but all of the rain did not allow that to happen.

The burial service was done inside the event center concluding the funeral.

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