CLARKSDALE, MS (abc24.com) - "He was more like a bird that's soaring over Clarksdale that we actually needed to bring us back to life so it's very hard for me at this moment, I mean I will truly miss Marco," said Angela Maddox.
Maddox tried to hold back tears after attending the funeral of her Clarksdale High classmate, Marco McMillian. Hundreds turned out for the home-going celebration, which included musical tributes and a video presentation detailing his political journey.
A few of his accomplishments include, in 2004, Ebony magazine listed him as one of the nation's leaders age 30 and under, he was a lifetime member of the NAACP Coahoma County branch, and he was the recipient of President Barack Obama's lifetime volunteer service award.
"Marco was a pillar of the community and he was a real giant," said Vernell Smith.
McMillian's Fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, paid tribute to their fallen brother.
"It was a joyful celebration of the life of Marco McMillian. Brothers came from all over the country to come & pay our respect & tribute to Marco. All the hard work that he's done for our fraternity."
McMillian's dreams of being the next mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi came to an end February 26, the day deputies found his truck crashed on Highway 49 South near Tutwiler, Mississippi with another man behind the wheel.
Investigators say that man, Lawrence Reed, confessed to killing McMillian. Deputies found McMillian's body the next day.
Family spokesperson Carter D. Womack says McMillian called him, hinting his life might be in danger a short time before death.
"Marco shared with me three or four weeks ago if you get a call that I'm missing or they found me dead, this campaign and all, there are things going on that are very, very crazy. Those were his words to me three weeks ago," said Womack.
Family members are waiting for answers on why McMillian's life ended so soon.