Traverse City Hosts Vigil To Honor A Lost Loved One

People gathered in Traverse City to remember a man who lost his life in Elk Lake.

Jamil Cooper was swimming with friends last weekend, but drowned when he couldn't swim back to the boat.

His body was found in Elk Lake in Whitewater Township Park.

After searching all of Saturday evening, crews found Cooper's body just before noon on Sunday.

Tonight, a vigil in the open space in his honor.

Jamil is remembered as a man who loved to serve is community and was always dancing and singing.

Friends and family shared their favorite memories of Jamil and said he was taken too soon.

“Touched so many people the time he lived here."

Kim remembers Jamil as a happy go lucky guy who touched many lives throughout the community.

“He's been really involved in the community. He is involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, student at NMC, he works full time at Walgreens, he attends a church, really active member of the community for someone at such a young age,” Kim says.

“It always made him so happy to be doing something for the community, so I know that was really important to him," says Michelle Lantzer, Jamil's co-worker.

After receiving the heartbreaking news over the weekend Kim knew they had come together and honor Jamil.

“He's touched a lot of lives, just the few short years he lived in Traverse City. His mom isn't from here. She's not really familiar with the area, so we just thought we should do something for her, for him to honor him,” Kim says.

Friends like Michelle remember how Jamil, a pharmacy technician at Walgreens, was able to turn any bad day into a good one.

“Dancing back in the pharmacy. There was always something he was dancing and singing to. It was just fun, he was just a fun guy,” Michelle says.

And everyone in the community knew who Jamil was.

“Customers had been coming in and calling saying, 'I don't know many Jamil's in Traverse City, was he your Jamil' and yeah he was."

“Such a bright personality so it's amazing to see all these people here.”

Jamil's mother traveled to Michigan for the vigil and is touched to see so many people come out to honor her late son.