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Family and friends gather to mourn the tragic loss of Gage Russell Kennedy

A candlelight vigil was held Monday evening as a memorial to Gage Russell Kennedy at the fountain on the downtown Plaza.

Many friends and family members gathered around the Culbertson fountain on Monday for a memorial vigil to mourn the tragic loss and celebrate the life of Russell Gage Kennedy, who went missing on Thursday and was found deceased on Sunday evening. (eParisExtra photo by Josh Allen)
Many friends and family members gathered around the Culbertson fountain on Monday for a memorial vigil to mourn the tragic loss and celebrate the life of Gage Russell Kennedy, who went missing on Thursday and was found deceased on Sunday evening. (eParisExtra photo by Josh Allen)

Many friends, family members, teachers and those that the young man touched through life attended, lighting a candle to represent the ‘eternal flame’ of his memory

Kennedy was known for his bright, constant smile and good spirit and attitude. A student at North Lamar High School, the 18-year old was known for his laugh by his close friends — friends who said it was a laugh that they would never forget.

“I always loved to see Gage’s smile when I’d see him walking down the halls,” North Lamar High School Principal Clint Hildreth said. “He had that kind of smile that could light up a room. He will be missed.”

The candlelight vigil was held at 5 p.m. and was organized by his fellow classmates and friends, students of North Lamar High School.

As close friends of Kennedy’s each shared stories with the crowd about his spirit, his laugh and the kind of person he was, reminiscing on the many good times they all shared, it became apparent that he had made a positive impression on many, touching the lives of those he had become close to.

A close uncle to Gage said that he was the rock of his family, always taking good care of his mother and his siblings. They’ve had some hard times, and without Gage they probably feel lost. We will all miss him, he said.

Kennedy had gone missing on Thursday, last being seen at 10:30 p.m. His body was later found alongside a rail spur between the streets of 10th NW and W. Center by a person walking along the railroad track. Upon making the discovery the individual immediately called police.

“Mr. Kennedy was tentatively identified by a family member who came to the scene after seeing police activity,” Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley said in a press release on Monday.

An autopsy has been ordered and results are pending. On Monday, Chief Hundley said, “There were no visible injuries to the deceased.”

An official manner of death has not been released yet, but police say the investigation is continuing. If you have any kind of information regarding this case, please call the police department at (903) 784-6688.

Please keep the family, friends and those struggling with this loss in your thoughts and prayers. Caring community support is crucial and helpful for those that are mourning this tragic loss.

There will also be a memorial service at the North Lamar High School auditorium on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

By Josh Allen, eParisExtra

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