Hickory, N.C. -- Hundreds of people packed Hickory's Union Square on Monday to celebrate the life of longtime Mayor Rudy Wright.
Mayor Wright died Thursday after his family said he committed suicide. Wright's family wanted Monday's ceremony to focus on the more positive memories of his life.
"Rudy Wright had a personality bigger than life with a smile that literally sparkled," Becky Stevenson, Wright's sister, said.
Pastor Whit Malone of Hickory's First Presbyterian Church said Wright was passionate about both his family and the city.
He praised Wright's family for being open about the cause of his death, and he sent a message to those who may be suffering from depression.
"I hope that you will reach out and get help," Malone said.
Suicide Prevention Resources
National Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK