EUCLID, Ohio -- Family, friends and members of the public packed the River of Life Ministries on Lakeshore Boulevard Saturday as they gathered to celebrate the life of Robert Godwin Sr.
He was 74 years old and was the victim of a senseless, random murder on Easter Sunday at the hands of Steve Stephens.
Stephens, 37, shot and killed Godwin Sr. on East 93rd Street and posted video of the killing to his Facebook account. Stephens also went live on Facebook to confess to the murder.
Stephens became the subject of a nationwide manhunt and was found in Erie, PA., on Tuesday morning. After a brief pursuit by police, Stephens crashed his vehicle, pulled out a gun and committed suicide.
Today's service for Godwin Sr. was filled with recollections of the beloved friend, father and family member.
“My dad was a great man. He taught me everything. I wouldn’t be the man I am today. He taught me how to love my family and take care of my wife,” said his son Robert Godwin, Jr.
After the service, a procession left for Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland where Godwin Sr. was buried.
There is still a growing memorial to Godwin on the spot on East 93rd Street where Godwin Sr. was killed while walking along the street.
Godwin Sr. was a native of Alabama, and moved to Cleveland decades ago for work. His family said he planned to visit them there next month. Sadly, 47 of his relatives made a 16-hour bus trip here to Cleveland instead, arriving early Friday evening.
Many remember him as someone who did not just enjoy fishing and collecting cans, but loving others.
“He’s one of the greatest guys I’ve really known and I thank God for the years I got to know him. He really was a terrific guy,” said John Small, an old friend.
“He call you every Saturday morning and he just want to hear your voice,” said his sister, Quinnin Jones.
“My brother, all he ever did, was love everybody,” said brother Lindsey Jones.
And many loved him back.
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