Thursday, May 10, 2012
A private church service is planned today for the family of late former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, while a public "Celebration of Life'' tribute is set for Friday.
Supporters of the family have said the private service would take place at a church in Oceanside, but the location was not being reported because the mourners are seeking privacy.
Friday's event for the hometown hero, who graduated from Oceanside High School, is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium. Admission and parking will be free and on a first-come, first-served basis.
According to U-T San Diego, anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 people are expected to attend the event, which is being paid for by the Chargers. It should last about 90 minutes.
Water, soft drinks and food will be sold, but no alcohol.
A heavy-hitting lineup of former Chargers football players is expected at the tribute. That includes quarterback Dan Fouts, safety Rodney Harrison and running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
Other scheduled speakers include Bobby Ross, the head coach of the lone Chargers team to go to the Super Bowl; former Tampa Bay and Denver standout safety John Lynch; and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.
Miles McPherson, senior pastor at The Rock Church, will speak and serve as master of ceremonies. Shawn Mitchell, senior pastor at New Venture Christian Fellowship, will also be part of the program.
Both the Metropolitan Transit System and the North County Transit District plan to increase service to accommodate the event. Qualcomm's parking lot will open at 2 p.m. and the stadium will open at 4:30 p.m., according to the Chargers.
Seau, who was born Tiaina Baul Seau and was of Samoan descent, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest last Wednesday morning, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.
In addition to his football fame, Seau was known as a generous philanthropist who contributed to youth charities. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Junior Seau Foundation are encouraged. The foundation is located at 5275 Market St., Suite B, San Diego, CA 92114. Donations also can be made online at juniorseau.org.