Dozens of friends, family and former classmates gathered on the shores of Lake Minnetonka at dusk on June 28 to console each other and remember 20-year-old Kennedy Maddox of Minnetonka, who drowned June 26 near Big Island.
Oscar Hipp has been friends with Maddox, a recent Minnetonka High School graduate, 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 the 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."
Read more about Kennedy Maddox:
• Divers Recover Body of Drowning Victim from Lake Minnetonka
• Funeral Planned Today for Kennedy Maddox
• Medical Examiner Releases Report on Lake Minnetonka Drowning