"Thank you for living a life that inspired millions. The sidelines won't be the same without you. Rest In Peace James 'Radio' Kennedy," South Carolina's TL Hanna Football Twitter feed said Sunday.
TL Hanna High School athletic director John Cann told CNN Kennedy was surrounded by family and friends when he died Saturday into Sunday.
Former TL Hanna High School Sheila Hilton wrote in an obituary for Kennedy that the man could barely speak and couldn't read or write, but had faithfully supported the team since the 1960s.
"He became a fixture at football practices, standing passively and watching, until one day when he began to mimic the coaches' signals and tried his hand at yelling out commands. At that point, he could have been labeled a distraction and sent away. But he was not. The coaches embraced him, and as coaches came and went, someone would always take over in caring for him," Hilton wrote.
"Generations of Hanna students and faculty had an opportunity to know Radio. Everyone has a story to tell, some of them priceless -- his eating a cooler full of sandwiches that had been made for the team and stored safely on the bus; his pass-kick-and-throw half-time shows; his permanent status as a junior, with no threat of graduation; and his astounding ability to name the mascot of any team in the state. The stories could fill the pages of a lengthy book, each showing the child-like innocence and loving heart that existed within him."
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Notable deaths of 2019