Mourners honor life of marinePublished 8:56pm Monday, February 14, 2011
Hundreds of people of all colors and all walks of life turned out Saturday afternoon to celebrate and mourn the life of a local Marine, Pfc. Cortavius Jarmon Minnifield, at the Benjamin Russell High School auditorium. When the heavily attended memorial service which nearly packed the house was over, a long procession of cars followed the former BRHS football player’s hearse to his final resting site at Peace and Goodwill Historical Cemetery in Kellyton.
Minnifield, 20, lost his life in a two-car collision that injured three others, on Sunday, Feb. 6. He graduated from training at Paris Island, S.C., less than six months ago. He leaves behind an infant son, ZyQuavion Minnifield, parents Daphne Wilson and Christopher Minnifield, three sisters, two brothers and numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
A long, solemn and sometimes wailing stream of people gave their last respects beforethe ceremony. The flag-draped open casket that was tended to by a Marine Corps Honor Guard was flanked by two of the soldiers and a showcase of flower arrangements.
The observance was presided over by the leader of the young man’s church, Early Rose Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Berlyn D. Norris. The event also included musical numbers by the Early Rose Choir, which was led by Betty Joyce Bentley; local singing group Teens of Christ, who brought many in the crowd to their feet with a rousing rendition of an original song; and a special performance by a barber shop quartet-like group of friends.
During the reflective portion of the Saturday afternoon memorial several individuals hit the stage to tell short stories about Minnifield and share their thoughts of the loved young man.
They included Clasherrol Edwards, a fellow alum from the BRHS class of 2000; Thomas Leonard, the president of Minnifield’s Theta Nu Pi community fraternity; and childhood friend Richard Lauderdale. He was described as a great friend, father, son, family member and churchgoer.
There were also other words of comfort and scripture readings by various pastors and reverends from around the area, including one who witnessed that Minnifield “was a man of God, a young man of God … (who) did the best with what he had” and the short time he had to do it.