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Balloon launch in memory of late father of 3 Kenwood Academy athletes – NBC Chicago

Hundreds of people gathered in Chicago’s South End tonight to pay their respects to Kevin Thunderbird, father of three Kenwood Academy athletes, who was shot dead in Hyde Park earlier this week.

Praying for strength and comfort, Thunderbird’s family and friends gathered at the Simeon High School baseball diamond, where the 36-year-old spent some of his best days.

“I can just see it now, it’s like I have an angel in the outfield,” said his mother, Diane Thunderbird. “He was the centre-back.”

Kevin was a star athlete growing up and now raising three of his own.

His boys are devastated that their dad can’t watch them play varsity sports.

“It still doesn’t feel real because I just feel like earlier today he was just talking, we were just talking about doing big things, like going to college,” Kevin Thunderbird Jr said.

Kevin Jr. and his brother K’vion told NBC Chicago that the past two weeks have been among the best of their lives.

Both Kenwood Academy athletes, they won the city championship, went to prom, and graduated. Their father was by their side, encouraging them the whole time.

But on Monday, Thunderbird’s life was cut short.

Police say Thunderbird was walking through Hyde Park when he was shot by a suspect in a vehicle. Officials said Thunderbird also fought back during the trade, but succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.

“I cherish all those moments, the memories that we had,” K’vion Thunderbird told NBC Chicago. “And just grateful that it happened like this and that we all came together to be one.”

Thursday night wasn’t about Kevin’s death, it was about his life and the hundreds of hearts he touched along the way.

Not just through sport, but through his spirit of generosity.

“It’s the impact he had on everyone’s life,” said his wife, Camille Thunderbird. “It just shows you the type of man he was.”

“Kevin just had a quick, fun wit, and if you meet him, he’ll try to help you,” said Diane, Thunderbird’s mother.

No one is in custody for the shooting as Chicago police continue to investigate.

NBC Chicago

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