Phil Trenary remembered on first anniversary of his death

Published: Sep. 27, 2019 at 6:44 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It's been one year since Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce President Phil Trenary was murdered in Downtown Memphis while walking home.

Trenary was shot and killed on South Front Street -- an area he loved, in a city he was constantly trying to improve.

The men charged with killing him will face a judge next month.

Trenary was gunned down after leaving a fundraiser at Loflin Yard.

His death made national headlines.

“Phil loved Memphis. He was one of the best cheerleaders this city had. I mourn his death,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

“We've lost what I've call Phil's heartbeat of our community,” said Carolyn Hardy, Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle chair.

Trenary founded Pinnacle Airlines, and was a well-known philanthropist.

He's credited with a long list of impactful projects, including helping to bring ServiceMaster’s headquarters downtown.

The Memphis City Council honored Trenary with the Humanitarian Award after his death.

“Most leaders they would talk about, in their circle, but Phil would actually call their determined circle into action,” said Hardy.

McKinney Wright, 23, and Quandarius Richardson, 19, both face first degree murder charges in the September 2018 murder.

According to an affidavit, neither suspect has been identified as the shooter, but both admitted to police they were driving around looking for people to rob.

Police arrested a 16-year-old female along with Wright and Richardson, but her charges have since been dropped.

Richardson and Wright will make their next appearance in court at the end of October. No trial date has been set at this time.

Trenary's family and friends have been very private in their grief, but Phil's son, Pearce, sat down with WMC Action News 5 to talk about honoring his father and his impact on Memphis.

“He’d be saying make this city the best it can be and make it the city it should and can be. And I think the best way people can honor him is working toward that,” said Trenary.

Tune in Monday, Sept. 30 for a special story on the life and legacy of Phil Trenary, as seen through his son's eyes.

The powerful interview will air on WMC Action News 5 at 10 p.m.

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