Sunday, June 19, 2016

‘Love somebody’ is message at funeral for FAMU grad

MELBOURNE, Florida -- Love served as the theme during the celebration of a life lost in an act of hatred.

Friends, family, co-workers and clergy challenged about 1,000 mourners filling the sanctuary of New Shiloh Christian Center in Melbourne to emulate Antonio Davon Brown and show love for one another.

“My brother was a genuine person,” said James Hickey, older brother of the 30-year-old Brown, who was among 49 people killed June 12 when a gunman opened fire in an Orlando nightclub. “He had a kind heart, and a loving soul, and he never met a stranger.”

Like others who spoke at the service, Hickey described Brown, who grew up in Port St. John, as having a bold sense of humor and a joy for living.

“It’s always sad to say goodbye,” he said, “but his legacy will live forever.”

Then he proffered a challenge: “To honor my brother, love somebody. Because that’s what he did.”

Before the service, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, accompanied by Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, met privately with Brown’s mother, Rosetta Evans, and other members of Brown’s immediate family.


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