Hundreds gather for prayer service honoring Sam Featherstone - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Hundreds gather for prayer service honoring Sam Featherstone

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Hundreds of people attended a prayer service Thursday night in remembrance of 19-year-old Sam Featherstone.

The Newburgh teen died Wednesday after a three year battle with brain cancer.

14 News was there too, and listened as friends and former teachers said, they don't want Sam's legacy to die with him.

"Tonight's a celebration of his life and that's how he would have wanted it," said friend Sam Mattingly.

They came in ones and twos, found their seats in Memorial High School's auditorium and settled in for a prayer service, many hoping it wouldn't come to this.

They'd been praying the 19-year-old would beat cancer. Sam died peacefully in his sleep Wednesday morning.

"It's one of those things you have really mixed feelings about," said former Teacher Missy McNabb. "You're like 'Eh, it's going to be so heavy.' But I'm so glad I came, and I know so many people feel the same way."

"He was a special person," Mattingly said. 

For Mattingly, Sam Featherstone was an inspiration, a source of motivation too in low times, and someone to emulate.

"I think everyone in there, they're there because he changed their life," Mattingly said. "I know he changed mine."

"So many people want to continue his legacy," Memorial High School Priest Father Alex Zenthoefer told 14 News.

Father Zenthoefer says one of Sam's biggest legacies is a gift to kids, he'll never have the chance to meet.

In Sam's last week, his SamStrong fundraiser raised more than $200,000 for cancer research at St. Jude.

"We don't want it to end with Sam's life because we want to carry on the mission that he began," Father Zenthoefer said. "So I think it's a real testament to him and the way he lived."

Visitation for Sam Featherstone will be Friday from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Titzer Family Funeral Home on Jennings Street in Newburgh.

Then, visitation will continue Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the funeral mass begins at 11:00 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on Frame Road.

In lieu of flowers, the family says contributions can be made to Memorial High School where a scholarship will be established in Sam's name.

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