DAVIESS COUNTY, Ind. – September 29, 2018, was going to be the happiest day of Jessica Padgett’s life. She was supposed to marry her fiancé Kendall Murphy.
But her hopes and dreams of spending a lifetime with Kendall were shattered on November 10, 2017. The Montgomery volunteer firefighter was killed by an alleged drunk driver while helping a crash victim in Daviess County.
Kendall's death was devastating to many members of the community who remembered him as an incredibly kind man and someone who "gave his all in everything he did."
Katrina Murphy, Kendall’s mother, approached photographer Mandi Knepp after his death and asked if she would do a photo shoot with Jessica on the day they planned to wed. She thought it would be a good way to honor Kendall and help Jessica with the healing process. Mandi told WXIN she agreed and would do anything to help.
Mandi took photos of Jessica while she put on her dress and did her makeup. She posed with several of Kendall’s belongings, including his uniform, his helmet, and his boots.
Jessica was also presented with a stack of letters from everyone in the community. Her best friend asked people to write the letters of support, and she received enough to read one per day for the next six months.
Kendall was one of five firefighters from Indiana honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday in Washington D.C.
The Montgomery Fire Station and St. Peter Catholic Church helped “paint the town red” to honor Kendall.
You can see more photos on the Loving Life Photography Facebook page.