Family, friends remember 17-year-old Justice Dunham with church memorial service

Justice Dunham memorial 2.PNG
aqw (93).png
Posted at 3:03 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 17:27:24-05

HAMPTON, Va. - Three days before Christmas, a family has to bury their teenage son - a son they said loved sports and real estate and had aspirations to graduate early. A son they said they guarded with their lives and tried to do everything to ensure his safety.

Through pictures and videos inside Liberty Live Church, a large gathering got a glimpse into Justice Dunham's short 17 years on earth.

"He has left a legacy," said the pastor.

Eight days after Justice was shot in the Menchville High School parking lot after a basketball game, family and friends bent over his open casket, grief and reality sinking in.

"My son asked me if he could attend a basketball game four miles from our house on a Tuesday night. I never knew that would be our last conversation," said Michael Dunham, Justice's father.

Justice turned 17 just six days before he died.

"My son was flat-out amazing. He was kind, compassionate, full of life, full of drive, full of years and destined to be successful," Michael said.

He was a football and basketball star at Woodside High School in Newport News with hopes of graduating early.

"He was driven; he was an achiever," said the pastor.

His football coach and teammates spoke of his lasting impact.

"I was fortunate to spend five to six hours of the day with the kid, enough to feel like he was my son," said Coach Justin Carr. "I really only knew him for like four months, but the impact that kid put on my entire life is never going to go away."

But, his greatest impact may be the gift his family plans to start in his honor, a message of hope for this heartbroken community.

"We are gonna create an athletic outlet for our youth in Justice's name and honor him because my son's name can't end here, it has to live on," Michael Dunham said.

In addition to the athletic facility, the family is asking for donations to the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club. They hope the money will be used for a new basketball court or football field in Justice's name.