Jessica Padgett of Evansville, Indiana expected to be married to her volunteer firefighter groom, Kendall Murphy on September 29, 2018. He died in November 2017 when another firefighter who was allegedly drunk crashed into him on their way to respond to a crash scene in Daviess County.
To honor his memory, Padgett’s mother, Katrina Murphy, coordinated with the photographer at Loving Life Photography, who she had booked for the wedding date. Jessica put on her wedding dress and posed with Kendall’s firefighter uniform, helmet, boots, and with his photograph. She and her family kneeled beside his grave in heartbreaking pictures that immediately convey the anguish and pain the family share at losing Kendall so unexpectedly.
The photographs show a tightly-knit family overcoming their grief together and remembering a man who they clearly loved with all of their hearts. They experienced a range of emotions, crying and laughing together. The photographer, Mandi Knepp, hopes the photographs will help the family heal, as well as others facing similar tragedies.
" Its hard when you miss someone. But, you know, if you miss them you were BLESSED. It means you had someone special in your life, someone worth missing."
The family has taken many steps to honor the life of the 27-year-old Kendall Murphy, including honoring him at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday in Washington D.C.
Jessica worked to start a scholarship fund in his name called the “Viking Promise” Kendall Murphy Scholarship Fund at Barr-Reeve Community Schools. She also raised funds to help the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department. In addition, the family helped coordinate a 5k and a 10k race to honor his memory called the 1st Annual Kendall Murphy 5K/10K Run/Walk.