Friends, family honor memory of Fort Myers man

Deonte Redding would have turned 37 years old on Thursday.

His mother Angela McClary, as well as friends and family gathered Saturday at Roberto Clemente Park to celebrate his birthday. He was killed four years ago.

“It’s keeping hope alive and not forgetting about Deonte,” McClary said.

Deondra Redding, 12, enjoys having her family by her side to honor her father’s memory.

“It’s just so much fun to see everyone get together to celebrate my dad just like he actually was here.

Deondra said it’s been a difficult event for her to process.

“I’m not going to have my dad for graduation or when I get married and stuff, it still hasn’t fully hit me,” Deondra said.

McClary spoke of heartbreak when referring to her son’s death and whoever was responsible.

“I would tell you that you took part of my heart away, my first born,” McClary said. “I don’t know what Deonte did to you to bring so much harm to you that you don’t want him on the face of the earth.”

McClary hasn’t lost hope that she will see justice and urges the killer to turn his or herself in.

“But I forgive you for what you’ve done I will never forget,” McClary said. “My question is I want to know why. To clear your conscious, please come forward.”

McClary started a local chapter of Parents of Murdered Children in 2016. Anyone interested can attend free meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month at the Followers of Christ fellowship ministries at 2809 Grand Ave.