BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - Hundreds of friends and family members came out for the funeral of 19-year-old Anthony TJ Liddell Saturday.
Pews were packed with hundreds of friends and family to mourn the loss of the Coastal Carolina University sophomore shot and killed Tuesday. The minister said that Saturday was a dark day, regardless of the sun's decision to shine. But he said friends and family will help shine a light on a dark time.
"Love is above all, a gift of oneself," he said. "These words describe our TJ."
The services lasted around an hour and half. Part of the church reserved for law enforcement involved in Liddell's murder case, and for students from Coastal Carolina University.
"Today I'm honored to be with you to celebrate the life of Anthony," said the Vice President of Student Affairs. She handed Liddell's parents handwritten letters from his classmates. They were wearing teal ribbons given to them during the candlelight vigil held in his honor Wednesday evening.
"TJ was full of laughter, full of life…caring…would give you his last," Liddell's uncle said.
There were tears shed and laughter shared while his uncle recalled his favorite memories of the teen.
"I know his life, his legacy, and his memory will last forever, Sheila, my little brother Anthony. I know it will last forever."
Part of that memory is how selfless Liddell was in life.
His high school football coach spoke about the teen's personality on and off the field.
"What was one thing you would never change about yourself? And his answer was ‘my values,'" the coach recalled. "He worked hard, and he was proud of what he contributed to the team. And we need more of that - he was selfless."
Those who know the family say they have a long road ahead of them.
"The loss of a son, it's quite different from losing your parents, losing your own child," a family member said. "You don't prepare for that, you're hoping that your children bury you."
A constant message given throughout the services was that Anthony TJ Liddell filled a lot of life into his short 19 years on earth.
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