Funeral held for 12-year-old Blakely boy who died of cancer

Local News

BLAKELY, Ala. (WDHN) — The Early County community came together Tuesday morning to remember the life and spirit of Jesse James Lamar Sampley.

Jesse was only 12 years old and passed away on Aug. 21 after a battle with cancer.

Many family, friends, and others gathered at the Mangham Auditorium to mourn and celebrate Jesse’s life and memory.

The service included music, speeches from friends and pastors, and lots of Alabama Tide apparel, as it was Jesse’s favorite team.

“Jesse was full of life,” Flag Football Coach Travis Price said. “We first started bad because I’m a Gator fan, and he was a Bama fan, and he rubbed it in every time we lost. His parents would drop him in the morning, and he would walk by me, and he would say roll tide, and I’d say, boy you better be going.”

Even with the amount of people in the auditorium, they made sure to wear masks and maintain social distancing guidelines.

Jesse loved football more than anything so the flowers and the sentimental items all included football themes.

“He always wanted to be a part of the group,” Early County Principal Angela Bell said. “He never wanted assistance when he was ill. Just before school closure in march, a really sweet memory that. Jesse taught others how to love and his model of character was quite a tribute to him.”

The service ended will the palbearers carrying out the casket to the Roll Tide theme song, with the family in procession.

A grave side service followed the funeral service at the Blakely Cemetery.

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