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UNF community honors George Louissaint Jr. with candlelit vigil

Students and members of the community gathered Monday evening to remember George Louissaint, Jr. and say goodbye to him.

As the sun came down, the memorial event started with friends and classmates taking turns talking about Louissaint and their shared memories. There was a easel holding a collage with pictures of Louissaint next to three balloons: green, black and white, representing the Caribbean Student Association, where Louissaint was Vice President.

Members of the UNF community held a candle light vigil to honor George Louissaint Jr. Photo by Lili Weinstein
Members of the UNF community held a candle light vigil to honor George Louissaint Jr. Photo by Lili Weinstein

Friends and loved ones shared anecdotes, some of them sang for him and all of them cried during their turn. Reggie Durant, Louissaint’s friend and president of the Black Student Union, started and hosted the ceremony.

“I appreciate everyone for coming here and honor George,” he began. “I love George. I love George to every bone.”

Ariana Roberson’s story showed attendants how funny and clever Louissaint was.

“The first time I met Georgie he asked my help to write a paper, ” she said. She agreed to proof-read the paper and then tried to tell the audience the clever title, but an emotional “sorry” interrupted her speech. She looked away and wiped her tears off before continuing.

“Why is that every time…” she said in tears. Durant came back up to the stage and hugged her. He stood next to hear and she continued the story.

“The title was ‘Why is it that every time you pee you poo and every time you poo you pee?’”

Neither attendants nor Roberson or Durant could help but laugh out loud.

Photo by Lili Weinstein
Students and staff gathered in the Student Union to honor the life of George Louissaint, Jr.Photo by Lili Weinstein

Louissaint loved to sing. His roommate Markale Ford sang a song that will always remind him of his friend.

“I couldn’t think about a song at first, but there’s this one song I sing at the house all the time,” Ford said. “[Louissaint] would always be like ‘why are you singing? What are you singing? He would be like ‘shut-up’ but then I never shut-up because [Louissaint] had a whole concert [in the shower]. You could hear him down the street.”

Ford sang Even Me by Yolanda Adams as a tribute for his friend.

After the presentations, people started lighting their candles and standing from the chairs. Then, the crowd left the stage area and moved in front of the lake at the Student Union plaza.

People formed a semi-circle and stood in silence. Tear-soaked faces were illuminated by the soft but consistent candlelight. At the end of the evening, they released around half dozen of white balloons as they shouted “I love you, George.”


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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  • C

    C. PoggiFeb 21, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Nice job Mari , very proud of you . Prayers for George.