HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - While no funeral is easy, friends and family found Nick Ackies' especially painful, considering Nick's mother, Ruth, is burying a second child. Some say it felt like a mistake or a cruel joke.
But, like Saturday's vigil, Sunday's service focused on Nick's joy, with a special emphasis on what others can learn from him.
Hundreds gathered to say their goodbyes to the 18-year-old Norfolk State football player who was gunned down last week.
"Why does a young man have to die?" speakers at the service questioned.
Though Nick Ackies' life seemed to end as soon as it began, his funeral turned into a classroom filled with long-lasting lessons.
Loved ones say the young man poured every bit of himself into everything he did, leaving nothing unfinished.
"And he did it for the glory of God," one pastor said.
Family and friends say we can all take note of that.
With hopes for higher education and professional athleticism, those who knew Nick best say his life takeaways are clear.
"Always do your best," coaches said. "Nick loved everyone like family."
Most importantly, they said they'll never forget how Nick wouldn't give up on anything.
The athlete put the same passion for sports into school, turning his grades around and making the dean's list his senior year at Douglas Freeman High School.
Instead of closing the chapter of Nick's book, loved ones are book-marking their favorite page for the next time they need a lesson from notable Nick.
Nick's mom says there are plans to start a scholarship in his honor to help students reach and exceed their goals like Nick did.
His burial is at noon Monday at Williamsburg Memorial Park on King Drive in Williamsburg.
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