LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Friends gathered on Sunday to remember the life of Lubbock community leader Eric Strong.
Strong passed away Saturday evening.
He is remembered for many things, particularly his work to revitalize East Lubbock, from being the director of the Lubbock Roots Historical Arts Council, to mentoring young children in a group called Tomorrow's Leaders, Eric Strong made an impact far and wide around Lubbock.
"It was not about him. He realized that it was about the community, it was about the children, and he worked himself to the bone to see that those things happened," said Eric's friend, Nettie Edwards.
His friends and fellow board members gathered Sunday night at the very place he helped create, sharing what they'll remember most about Eric.
"Eric Strong always had a kind word, always had something to say that we can, we will. So that will always remain with me," said Lubbock City Councilwoman Shelia Patterson Harris.
"He loved people. One of God's children. He will be missed because he brought an outstanding contribution to the City of Lubbock, Texas, USA. He shall not be forgotten," TJ Patterson said.
"In many respects, I think that Eric has changed the lives of many people through his actions, and his passion," his friend Margaret Randle said.
"His determination, in saying don't ever give up. Go continue your dreams. Continue to your legacy. Because there is someone else that is looking at you and that will follow your footsteps," his friend and fellow board member Eddie Williams said.
"God gave him a gift to create, to envision. He could see things that no one else could see," Edwards said.
"One of the things about Eric is his optimism. You cannot overlook that. Because there were times when we thought things wouldn't go. Well Eric, you know, had a vision. And his vision was to revitalize East Lubbock. And because of his optimism, things did happen," friend and fellow board member Cosby Morton said.
Eric was a man who lived up to his word and his name: Strong.
"You can't stop Eric Strong because, he's going to do it. If he says he's going to do it, then he finds a way to do it," Morton said.
It's on a stretch of land here in Lubbock off of Avenue A where Strong had a vision of developing the Historic East Lubbock Gateway. His friends say they are determined to make those dreams come true, in honor of him.
"His dreams, his missions and his goals will be met. They will continue. We will work very hard to make it happen, and keep it alive," friend and fellow board member Shirley Green said.
"If I can play a small part in some way in renewing hope in the larger community, I'll be glad to do it and I'll do it in honor of my friend," friend and fellow board member Don Holladay said.
"You could just hear the passion in his voice. He's a wonderful person, he will definitely be missed," friend and fellow board member Vernita Woods-Holmes said.