Vigil held for FAMU’s Brandon Brinson

“Vibrant, sharp-minded and playful” were the words friends and relatives used to describe Brandon Brinson at a memorial service held Thursday afternoon by the eternal flame.

“He was very out going, very happy-go-lucky and he played Pop Werner football,” said Linda Howard, Brinson’s mother.

More than 20 relatives attended Brinson’s memorial service. Each relative wore a T-shirt that displayed memorable pictures of Brinson.

Brinson, 19, was pronounced dead at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital April 14, from a gunshot wound.

Police are still investigating his death.

“I know God’s justice is different from the world’s justice but in due time, I know that God is going to bring everything to justice,” said Marvin Ward, Brinson’s Uncle. “That’s what we look for, closure to see what happened to Brandon because we don’t know.”

As relatives gathered around Florida A&M’s Eternal Flame, friends and students were there for support. Some held flowers and some purple and light blue balloons. Director of Student Activities Saundra Inge arranged the memorial service.

Student Body Vice President Calvin Hayes gave a brief uplifting sermon and prayer and was followed by Bernard Jackson who received a roaring handclap for his saxophone solo of the song “Amazing Grace.”

FAMU’s President James Ammons thanked Brinson’s parents for coming and for allowing the university to organize the program.

“This is a tragic loss, not just for his family and friends but also for this university,” Ammons said. “Any time you see a life taken away so young, it touches all of us because we had so much hope in him and I think the world has lost a potential giver and difference maker in Brandon.”

Brandon was a native of Jacksonville, Fla., and graduated from First Coast High School. He was also a freshman at FAMU. Friends said he was always the class clown, but made sure to perform well in school.

“He embraced life. Its heart breaking that he’s no longer with us because he loved life and he lived his life to the fullest,” said Marie Ward, Brinson’s aunt. “He was fluent in Spanish, it was like a second language to him—a lot of people don’t know that. He wasn’t flamboyant and he was very humble.”

Brinson’s best friend through grade school and college Willie Harris, reminisced with childhood stories of how he and Brinson stayed on the phone, got into trouble and how they got accepted into the same college.

Brinson mother stayed strong as she did not shed tears at the service but prayed that God take care of her son.

“He was a joy to be around usually, but like any other child, he had his moments but we love him and we just pray and we know he rest in God’s care,” Brinson’s mother said.