The slain girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was a loyal friend who brought joy to others with her smiles and laughter, a relative said Thursday at a memorial service for the woman.
Belcher fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at the Kansas City home they shared with their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey. He then drove to the Chiefs practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, where coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive assistant Gary Gibbs witnessed Belcher commit suicide.
Perkins was from Texas, and family and friends gathered at a church in Blue Ridge on Thursday to remember her. Her great-uncle Ted Downing said Perkins considered Zoey to be the love of her life.
"She had a deep, deep understanding about the important things in life," Downing told mourners.
He recalled a time in Perkins' childhood when she got upset that a friend of hers didn't get a desired part in a play.
"She always had no shortage of friends — and I mean good friends," Downing said.
A white casket bedecked with a spray of white lilies and pink roses was the mourners' focal point at Ridgeview Family Fellowship in Blue Ridge, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas.
Steve Sweeney, senior pastor at Ridgeview, offered a prayer for God to bring healing to both her family and Belcher's family. He also prayed for strength for Zoey, who was at the service.
Downing told about 200 mourners, including Chiefs team chairman Clark Hunt, that Perkins had a knack for making everyone she met "feel like the most important person in the world."
"To put it simply, Kasi loved life," he said.
Downing said after the service that it hasn't been decided yet who will raise Zoey.