DAVIESS COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A day filled of love and new beginnings took on extra meaning as one southern Indiana bride paid tribute to her firefighter fiancé on their wedding day.
Jessica Padgett and Kendall Murphy planned to wed on September 29, 2018. A deadly accident shattered the dreams of a long life together.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation listed tributes to all fallen firefighters involved in the 2018 ceremony. Kendall Murphy joined the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department in June 2016, following his father and grandfather’s footsteps. The foundation's 2018 Remembrance Book states, "Kendall was a selfless man of God who loved spending time with family and friends. He had a true servant’s heart and captivating personality that would light up any room. His wittiness would make anyone laugh and have him making friends in no time. He didn’t know a stranger." Kendall graduated from Barr-Reeve High School in 2009, and received a bachelors in Sports Management from the University of Southern Indiana in 2013.
Murphy died in November of 2017. He was a volunteer firefighter in Daviess County, Indiana. In November of 2017, Indiana State Police said Murphy was responding to a report of a crash near his home when he was hit and killed by another responding firefighter.
Local photographer, Mandi Knepp from Loving Life Photography, captured the family's wide range of emotions in a wedding photo shoot.
The pictures show a beautiful bride preparing for her wedding day. They also show a grieving family sharing special moments under a sunset at Murphy's gravesite.
Knepp spoke with News 10 about the photo shoot. She said she shot the couple's engagement pictures, and had the wedding on her calendar. She said Murphy's mother reached out after his death, asking if it was possible to do a photo shoot on the planned wedding day. Knepp agreed, and said she went into the day knowing it would be full of emotion.
Murphy was one of 103 fallen firefighters honored recently at the 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.