On Saturday, former Saints football player Will Smith was put to rest in a private service at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans. Smith’s family, friends, colleagues and Saints coaches all came to celebrate Smith’s life. Smith’s widow Racquel, who was shot in each leg and suffering from a shattered femur, was also there in a wheelchair.
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According to Nola.com, a “heartbreaking” letter Smith wrote in 2011 was published on the back of his obituary.
In that letter, he previously wrote that, “When I die I don’t want people to cry. I lived a wonderful life. I was very gifted with a great family, lovely kids and a great wife, who put up with my BS!!! (sic) I have no regrets.I want my kids to grow up to be whoever they want to be. I don’t want you to dictate your life based upon what society says is right. We all create our right and wrong.”
Saints coach Sean Payton, teammate Jonathan Vilma and former Saints Player Malcolm Jenkins all spoke during the ceremony and songs from Alicia Keys, Smith’s favorite singer, were played as well, Nola.com noted.
In addition, on Friday, there was also a public parade held to honor Smith’s life in the streets of NOLA, NBC News reported.
As Hello Beautiful previously reported, Smith, 34, was killed last weekend during an alleged attack of road rage from a driver who crashed into Smith’s car and shot the former football player eight times. Cardell Hayes, 28, has been charged with second-degree murder. Hayes’ lawyer John Fuller claims that new surveillance footage will prove that his client is not “legally guilty.” They also claim that the Smiths were visiting a strip club the night of his death, the Daily Mail noted.
However, Peter Thomson, the lawyer representing the Smith family, told Nola.com that Fuller is a “desperate defense attorney who, as before, is frantically trying to mislead everyone and distract from the fact that his client murdered Will Smith in cold blood and intentionally shot Will’s wife.”
We send our deepest condolences to the Smith family.
In Memoriam: Celebrities We Lost In 2016
1. Debbie Reynolds, 84Source:Getty 1 of 39
2. Carrie Fisher, 60Source:Getty 2 of 39
3. George Michael, 53Source:Getty 3 of 39
4. Alan Thicke, 69Source:Getty 4 of 39
5. John Glenn, 95Source:Getty 5 of 39
6. Ron Glass, 71Source:Getty 6 of 39
7. Fidel Castro, 90Source:Getty 7 of 39
8. Colonel Abrams, 67Source:Getty 8 of 39
9. Florence Henderson, 82Source:Getty 9 of 39
10. Sharon Jones, 60Source:Getty 10 of 39
11. Gwen Ifill, 61Source:Getty 11 of 39
12. Leonard Cohen, 82Source:Getty 12 of 39
13. Gene Wilder, 83Source:Getty 13 of 39
14. John McLaughlin, 89Source:Getty 14 of 39
15. Gary Marshall, 81Source:Getty 15 of 39
16. Bernie Worrell, 72Source:Getty 16 of 39
17. Christina Grimmie, 22Source:Getty 17 of 39
18. Muhammad Ali, 74Source:Getty 18 of 39
19. Morley Safer, 84Source:Getty 19 of 39
20. Prince, 57Source:Getty 20 of 39
21. David Gest, 62Source:Getty 21 of 39
22. Phife Dawg, 45Source:Getty 22 of 39
23. Daryl Coley, 60Source:Getty 23 of 39
24. Bob Adelman, 85Source:Getty 24 of 39
25. Gil Hill, 84Source:Paramount Pictures - © 1984 25 of 39
26. Tony Burton, 78Source:Getty 26 of 39
27. Vanity, 57Source:Getty 27 of 39
28. Maurice White, 74Source:Getty 28 of 39
29. Abe Vigoda, 94Source:Getty 29 of 39
30. Natalie Cole, 65Source:Getty 30 of 39
31. David Bowie, 69Source:Getty 31 of 39
32. Nicholas Caldwell, 71Source:Getty 32 of 39
33. Monford "Monte" Merrill Irvin, 96Source:Getty 33 of 39
34. Glenn Frey, 67Source:Getty 34 of 39
35. Rene Angelil, 73Source:Getty 35 of 39
36. Robert Stigwood, 81Source:Getty 36 of 39
37. Otis Clay, 73Source:Getty 37 of 39
38. Dan Haggerty, 74Source:Getty 38 of 39
39. Alan Rickman, 69Source:Getty 39 of 39
Retired NFL Player Will Smith’s Life Celebrated In New Orleans was originally published on hellobeautiful.com