Lakeside Vigil Remembers Kennedy Maddox
Just hours after divers recovered his body, Kennedy Maddox's friends came together to grieve the 20-year-old's sudden death.
Dozens of friends, family and former classmates gathered on the shores of Lake Minnetonka at dusk Wednesday evening to console each other and remember 20-year-old Kennedy Maddox, who drowned Tuesday near Big Island.
Oscar Hipp has been friends with Maddox for several years and led a prayer to open the memorial.
"We had a connection more than friends, it was almost like we were brothers," Hipp said, tears running down his face. "I knew he had some troubles in his life, and I think sharing them with me got us really close. It's such an unbelievably tough loss."
Like most at Wednesday's memorial, Hipp said he will remember Maddox for his infectious laugh, easy-going personality and an ability to make friends with just about everyone he came across.
"He could make anyone laugh," he said. "When he walked in the room you would just bust out laughing. He was going to do something man. Whatever it was, he was going to be great at it."
Wesley Long met Maddox during his sophomore year at Minnetonka High School.
"He was in choir, and we were walking down the hall—I was walking next to this girl," Long said. "All of a sudden he started going on a rant, talking about how cool I am, and he didn't even know me. It made me realize that no matter who you are he was there to brighten your day."
Long was out in North Dakota at college when he learned through Twitter that his friend had not resurfaced after jumping off a boat to swim near Big Island.
"I left early and came right home—I couldn't miss this," Long said. "He had such an impact on everyone, and nobody is going to forget that. I'm devestated."