There was always something about Jeggan that drew everyone to him. Maybe it is his smile, his calm voice, and his quiet sense of humor.  He was a charismatic and loving individual who went the extra mile for his friends.  But that was not my first impression of him.

I met Jeggan at a gathering at my sister’s home. He was quiet most of the time and I kept to myself as well. I thought to myself “there is no way we would get to know each other.” Within a few months however, Jeggan and I became great friends. We would have long conversations, do our homework together, and he will always pick me up whenever my old car would stop working-which was often.  This quiet person was one of the most caring and selfless people I have ever met.

Jeggan was very intelligent. I remember he would always miss a few classes in a semester. What would take most people days to learn, he would learn in a few hours. He was a hard worker and he always managed to excel in his classes while working full time. He was an inspiration to all of us. He did what he was supposed to do and never complained or worried much. What he had was true faith.

Jeggan loved his mother. He would always talk about her in our conversations. He wanted to do a lot for his mother and never wanted to worry about anything. Well Jeggan, you have already done everything for your mother by showing her true love- nothing material will ever compare. His mother was the reason he worked so hard. Aunty Pamela, you raised a very fine son. Even though he no longer lives in the physical world, his good deeds will live on. Now I tell you Aunty Pamela: we are in this together. We will never leave you. We are now your children.

It is still so hard to believe that you are gone, Jeggan. I wish I had seen you one last time. I wish I had talked to you just one more time. I wish I had not taken time for granted. I wish, I wish, I wish… But the last time I saw you, you had a smile on your handsome face. You were at peace. I know you are in heaven with the Lord, your father, and he will never leave you
“They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.” ~ Williams Penn
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Tribute for Jeggan Cole

It has been a great privilege for me to have met and to have known Jeggan. Jeggan and I met in Marina High School. I was a couple of years ahead of him but I remember always hearing about how he was so bright and promising student. Jeggan and I got closer when he joined me at Kentucky State University. Jeggan was such a gentle and gracious man and he always wore a warm sincere smile. He was very quiet and reserved until you give him a minute to warm up to you and then you would realize how funny and sociable he was. I remember inviting him for meals to my house and how he always would complain about how spicy my cooking was. However that never seemed to stop him from finishing a whole plate of food. He always got along with everybody regardless of background and I have yet to meet a soul that had an issue with him.

Early November 2012, Jeggan had invited some friends and me to join him for a night out. We had a blast and it was so lovely spending time together again. I was shock when I received a call less than 2 months later that Jeggan was in the ICU. It seems incomprehensible that a fit, healthy, and active man as Jeggan was, should become a victim of his own body turning against him. These last year and a half has been very difficult.

What will I remember most about Jeggan? I choose to remember his laugh and his genuine kind spirit. Jeggan’s death was sudden, but his life, although short, was not faint. His memory will always be with us, and we will continue his legacy. As he had, I want us all to show kindness, love and mercy to our fellow human beings, regardless of background or race. Jeggan would smile if he were here with us today. He would have some funny story to tell to make everyone comfortable, and we would for a moment forget our sadness. I will miss my friend dearly, but I am so grateful for having known him. You may be gone, Jeggan, but you will never be forgotten.

I will leave you with this quote:

“A passionate light has gone out; without so much as a flicker, and all we have left; is the precious memory of how brightly it burned; and the warmth it gave us.”

Fanta Bayo