JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hundreds gathered at UNF on Saturday morning to say goodbye to JT Townsend, who died early Wednesday morning at age 26. He suffered a spinal-cord injury during a football game in 2004 and was left paralyzed.
His death was a shock to many, but he left a lasting impression on those in his life and the Jacksonville community.
The program was full of his accomplishments and achievements and the UNF arena behind me was packed with hundreds of people. It was definitely a day of celebration and JT Townsend sure leaves behind an amazing legacy.
"We can all consider ourselves blessed to have had the privilege to meet him or even the honor to call him a friend." Nick Loren, who spoke at the service, said.
The JT Townsend Mass Choir, compromised of people whose lives were touched by JT Townsend, came together for the very first time to sing uplifting gospel songs in remembrance of the one and only JT.
"He was just always such a delight." Gwennetta Patterson said. "It was an opportunity for us to get to know him. It was a blessing to all of us and how he touched the lives of so many."
It was a packed arena at the University of North Florida, where JT graduated just weeks before. Doyle Primm was one of many at the service who was directly impacted by JT. Primm broke his hip and was in need of a wheel chair and JT personally donated one to him, just one day before he passed away.
"I was so grateful for his contribution to me. It made my job easy and doable. What a wonderful guy." Primm said.
The 26 year old is not done impacting lives,many, like Reginald Smith, say JT make's them want to be a better person and they strive to live, just like he did.
"A legacy people should follow. No matter what happens to you you still can live life and still help people," he said.
It would take forever to say all the wonderful things people have to say about JT, but close friend Nick Loren put it pretty well.
"One of the kindest, most selfless and inspiring spirits that I have ever known."
Everyone talked about how beautiful the ceremony was and if you want to help JT's loved one keep his memory alive you can make a donation to his foundation.
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