Francis Namox's grandmother Betty Joseph pleaded with the young people in attendance at the vigil to stop the cycle of alcohol and drug addiction and violence.

Francis Namox's grandmother Betty Joseph pleaded with the young people in attendance at the vigil to stop the cycle of alcohol and drug addiction and violence.

Namox remembered for infectious laugh, smile

Young man was trying to turn his life around before Feb. 7 stabbing

Francis Namox Jr. was on the verge of turning his life around, said family members and friends who gathered on Friday night at a candlelight vigil for the young man who died last week.

Namox, 26, was stabbed and killed on the night of Feb. 7 in an apartment in the 1500 block of Main Street.

A charge of second-degree murder has been laid against Kelly Andrew Johnson, 21.

More than 50 friends and family members remembered Namox as a kind, gentle, good-natured young man with an infectious laugh and smile, who also struggled with alcohol addiction.

He was trying to be a better father to his two-year-old son and was excited about an upcoming job opportunity.

Candace Garcia organized the candlelight vigil. She went to school with Namox and fondly remembers a school trip down to Vancouver to visit post-secondary schools. The two spent the whole week together and had a good opportunity to get to know one another.

“We just had fun, cruising around Vancouver,” Garcia said.

“He was such a kind-hearted person. He always put others before himself and tried to help others as much as he could. He had a very contagious smile. He was always laughing and joking around.

“He was a guy that anyone would want to meet.”

Joshua Alfred also went to school with Namox. He said it was in high school they became good friends.

“We all had a connection,” Alfred said.

“I loved hanging out with Francis. He had that laugh that made everyone feel good.

“Francis was quiet until you got to know him. He was a really nice guy and fun to be around.”

Loralee Nikal, Namox’s aunt, said the family is heartbroken.

“Francis was just 26. His life was just starting,” she said.

“Continue being there for each other,” Nikal said to Namox’s friends. “You see how strong you are together.”

Nikal, and other elders who spoke at the vigil, pleaded with the younger generations to end the cycles of alcohol and drug addiction and violence.

Janeane Pascal, Francis’ older sister said the family is still trying to make sense of the series of events that lead to his death.

“I’m feeling really sad and hurt, it’s hard to believe,” she said, adding the vigil has helped the family begin to heal. “It’s a lot easier knowing all the people who were there for junior and supported him.

“I want people to remember junior was a really loving and caring person. He had a two-year-old son and was looking forward to moving back to Prince George to be in his life and be a Dad to his son. He was ready to change his life. Alcohol wasn’t the only thing in his life.”

Namox’s grandmother, Betty Joseph, said his death brought back the terrible memories of when one of her sons was stabbed and killed 20 years ago.

“Alcohol and drugs are destroying our young people,” Joseph, who quit drinking about 20 years ago, said. “We need you to be our leaders one day.”

“Why are we burying you? You’re supposed to be burying us,” she sobbed. “You’re supposed to be looking after us.”

A memorial for Namox was held on weekend, and the funeral was Monday.