NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Family and fans of Hampton Roads boxing legend Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker gathered at the Norfolk Scope on Saturday morning for his funeral service.
It was a sad day as they said their last goodbyes. It was a long service, but something his friends and family will cherish forever.
“Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker fought the fight with grace, humility, kindness and poise. He’s finished his course, leaving a legacy for generations to come,” said a speaker at the service.
Hundreds lined up to say their final goodbyes to the former boxer, who was killed last week after he was hit by a car in Virginia Beach.
“Just a wonderful person he is, he was, and I just love Sweet Pea.”
Zalina King Parker said she grew up with the icon. “He came up to be someone very big and he was a great fighter. You know he was a very great fighter and I just love him for who he was. We went to school together, we all grew up together.”
She’s sad he’s gone, but he will live on.
“Coming from where we did come from can show that other people, wherever you live or where you come from, you can still rise up and become someone,” she said.
Now other friends and family member rely on the memories they shared with him.
“He was a really funny guy, real nice and I remember doing an exhibition before he made it big and he was at the arena and we would hang out at the arena and have so much fun,” added Bridgette King Stephen, a family friend.