Phil Trenary laid to rest Thursday


People hug outside Phil Trenary’s funeral at Christ Church United Methodist on Poplar Thursday.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  Memphis business leader Phil Trenary was laid to rest Thursday afternoon at Christ United Methodist Church.

The President and CEO of The Greater Memphis Chamber worked tirelessly to bring and keep big companies here. His efforts include a recent plan to renovate Memphis International Airport.

"Today is about celebrating a life well-lived. Someone who loved our city," Memphis Tourism CEO Kevin Kane said. "And he cared about people. He was a champion for minority businesses and for diversity in the workplace."

Friends remember is accomplishments. But more than anything else, they remember the man.

"He was a fun guy, a sports lover and a music lover," Kane said.

Trenary was gunned down while walking on Front Street after leaving an event sponsored by Greater Memphis Chamber last Thursday night. Police say it happened during an attempted robbery.

"One violent crime is one too many. It doesn't matter who it is," a resident said.

Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn released a statement ahead of Trenary's service saying:

"Today we lay to rest Phil Trenary, a vital part of the Memphis community. He made a significant mark on Memphis, contributing tremendously to the city's vibrant business community and philanthropic efforts. I am heartbroken by this tragic loss. He will be missed dearly, and we are praying for the Trenary family at this difficult time."

One of the suspects was captured the next day after a high-speed chase that ended with a fiery crash in south Memphis. The other two were arrested later.

The suspects were charged with first-degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery. Quandarius Richardson and McKinney Wright are being held without bond while 16-year-old Racanisha Wright is being held in Juvenile Court for now.

"We can not be deterred by this. We've got to move forward," a resident said.

Friends say that's what Trenary would want.

"Phil would say that Memphis is still great, and that Memphis is still on the trajectory that he was leading it. He would not want any of that momentum lost. None whatsoever. That's how he would want to be remembered," Carolyn Hardy, the President and CEO of Chism Hardy Investments, said.

Trenary was 65 years old.

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