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Candlelight vigil held in honor for Kennedy Segars

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On Wednesday, Oct. 24, family, staff, friends and former classmates gathered in the Decatur Stadium for a candlelight vigil to celebrate the life of Kennedy Segars.

Segars graduated from DHS in 2018. She passed away in the hospital on Monday, Oct. 22, after being hit by a drunk driver near Stonecrest Mall while sitting at a red light.

Kennedy was a part of the school’s cheerleading team, being courtside during basketball games. She was a dual-enrollment student which gave her the ability to complete her Associate’s Degree in high school. This put her ahead of most students in her grade, giving her an advantage when she was to go into the field of her choice.

As members of the community watched from the stands, individuals spoke about their memories of Kennedy. Ayoka Shakir was one of Kennedy’s Literature teachers during the time she attended Decatur.

Ms. Shakir highlighted many personality traits about Segars. Having observed Segars as a student, she was inspired to always make kindness to others a predominance.

”We have to do things the Kennedy way,” Shakir said during her speech.

Senior Martize Smith sang gospel songs while heads were bowed and eyes were closed. Many people, scheduled and unscheduled, wanted to share their memories of Kennedy.

Jeremy Slaughter was a close friend of Segars. He described her as, “smart, real intelligent, beautiful, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet.”

Slaughter remembered how she helped him with his prom proposal.

“It was sophomore year, she helped me with the poster to give to [my date,]” he said. “It was so last minute.”

He would go to the home basketball games to support her as she cheered on the sideline.

“She used to be so happy when I came to see her,” Slaughter said. “She was like a little sister to me.

Even those who weren’t as close, such as Junior Dylan Kyle, were impacted by her vibrant personality.

“Those small interactions [with her] really made differences in my life.”

At the end of the vigil, everyone gathered together as balloons were set free into the night sky to wish her goodbye. 

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Decatur High School, GA
Candlelight vigil held in honor for Kennedy Segars