Hundreds attend emotional funeral at Climate Pledge Arena for beloved Seattle business owner

Loss, love and a life of service: Thursday was the emotional tribute for beloved Seattle business owner and community leader, D’Vonne Pickett Jr. 

Family, friends and elected officials were among the hundreds of people gathered at Climate Pledge Arena for his memorial service.

Through song, prayer and personal stories, Pickett’s loved ones celebrated his most memorable accomplishments. The crowd chanted, "Long live D’Vonne Pickett Junior!"

People from across the country filled the stands to pay their final respects to the beloved entrepreneur, devoted father, loving husband, community leader and star athlete at Seattle University.

"His worldview, his dreams went way beyond the basketball court," said Cameron Dollar, D’Vonne’s coach at Seattle University.

Pickett dedicated his life to giving back to the Central District, the community that raised him. He and his wife, Keanna Pickett, opened a business, The Postman, on a street he grew up on. It’s the same street she saw his life taken when he was shot and killed on Oct. 19.

"I’m relying heavily on all of you because the mission D’Vonne and I believed in, with our blood, sweat and tears, was keeping communities connected and that’s what we’re going to continue to do," said Keanna.

Pickett’s sudden loss of life has been hard on many, including Seattle mayor Bruce Harrell.

"I got a call from my son. My son said ‘I think D’Vonne’s been shot. I think he’s been killed,’" said Harrell as he wiped away his tears.

Community honors legacy of beloved business owner killed in Seattle's Central District

More than just a successful businessman—Pickett was a devoted father, husband, youth sports coach student-athlete at Seattle University and played professional basketball internationally. Thursday, cries from his mother echoed through the streets as she stood at the memorial in disbelief that her son and all of his accomplishments will be a memory.

The pain runs even deeper for his family.

"I told the Lord—I said God, bear with me. I don’t know how right now I’m going to find forgiveness. So please forgive me for the way that I feel. This is a loss that I never, ever expected," said D’Vonne’s grandfather, Maurice Hunter.

None are hurting like his sisters and mother.

"I never, ever in a million years would even think that I would be here. So, when I tell you I’m really broken, that’s what I mean. I feel like my soul has been ripped out," cried De’Auz’Janae Pickett, D’Vonne’s sister.

"D’Vonne is my first born child. I had him at 15 years old. He grew up with me. He made me a better person," sighed Nicky Chappell, D’Vonne’s mother.

As they mourned Pickett’s death, they will remember his life and legacy as a king. His son, D’Vonne Pickett III, placed a crown on his casket as everyone stood to their feet honoring him one last time. 

"That’s my baby. Thank you everybody," wept Chappell.

Pickett is survived by his three children, family, friends and community.