Hike service

Jimi Patterson remembers family and friends at candlelight service in Riverhead

Dozens of candles flickered in the breeze on the Riverhead football ground last night where the grieving family and friends of James Patterson gathered to remember him and comfort each other with music, memories, laughter, tears and hugs.

Patterson, 22, whose young life was cut short by a random act of senseless violence in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month, is remembered as a kind, happy, fun guy who did everything he could to make others happy. He loved his family and friends deeply. His great passion in life was his music.

Patterson’s father, Rob Patterson, organized the event, along with Patterson’s sister, Alyssa Robichaud. Visitors were invited to write messages on a whiteboard, placed on an easel next to a portrait of Patterson, and to write “notes to Jimi” on cards.

Photo: Denise Civiletti

Rob Patterson shared memories of his son growing up coaching Jimi’s soccer team and trying to learn how to play Yu-Gi-Oh!, a video game his son loved. “It’s a tricky game,” he said, laughing at the memory of the difficulty he had found.

“These are great memories and when I’m really sad I think about stuff like that,” Rob Patterson said. “When we think of Jimi, we should think of things like that, like what times did you have with him that were cool, no – we certainly won’t think of anything bad, or in the end,” he said. he declares.

Rob Patterson, a musician, set up a public address system on the grounds and performed several songs, including “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art”. His friends, musicians Mike Porter and Nancy Hampton, also performed.

Rob Patterson performs the anthem “How Great Thou Art”. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Several of Jimi’s friends took to the mic to share memories of the good times they had, often struggling to keep their cool.

“I will always be grateful for the happy and joyful times,” a young man said into the microphone. He said he grew up with Jimi and described him as his “first friend” at Aquebogue Elementary School.

“Jimi lived every day like it was his last on earth and I’m just happy that everyone can show him so much love. Jimi was definitely a blessed child, and he had a wonderful father and mother, who loved him and the rest of his family very much,” he said.

“He was more than a friend to me. He was a brother, for real. Music has always been his passion,” another friend recalled.

“Jimi, Jimi, Jimi – where do I even begin?” said another friend. “I met this kid, he was 12. I was walking from high school to college and this little boy said, ‘Yo man, you’re playing Yu-Gi-Oh!’ started,” he recalled. “We have so many memories together. It’s really difficult. He really had a way of making you smile, making you happy and really showing you that you matter as a person,” he said. “For that, I will always be grateful to him. It really sucks that he is gone, but he will live on in all of our hearts, everyone here,” he said.

“It’s beautiful. It’s all about Jimi, Jimbo Jones, Jimi Patterson, James Francis Patterson, little brother,” Robichaud said. “Since mom was pregnant with you, we’ve been buddies,” she said. “She would drop me off at school and I would kiss her goodbye and she would say, ‘kiss your brother’ and I would kiss her belly,” she said.

“I’m so grateful to have such an amazing little brother for all of us. It’s all I could ever want,” she said. Jimi has helped so many people in more ways than anyone could. never imagine it. He is gifted. A musician, an artist, a rapper, a comedian, a therapist, a friend, a son, a brother, a nephew and an uncle and much more, “said Robichaud. “He made me so proud in so many ways.”

Rob Patterson intends to fulfill his son’s dream of releasing an album.

“That album he’s been talking about all his life, ‘The Holy Book, I would love to release that,” Patterson said. He said he had recordings of about 150 of his son’s songs.

“I think it would be really cool to get his music out into the world, get it right… Help him achieve his dream. I still have big plans for Jimi. I’m not done with him,” Patterson said.

RiverheadLOCAL Photos by Denise Civiletti

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