ATLANTA -- It was a celebration much like the man it honored -- full of music, love and the joy Joseph Hawkins brought to his life.
"When I die, the one thing I want you to do for me is have a big party," Katie Hawkins-Gaar said her father often told his family.
Katie never expected that day to come so soon. But when her 58-year-old father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just days to live, a plan quickly came together.
"He didn't want it to be a sad event," Katie said.
Katie planned a traditional New Orleans-style send-off for her dad after his death on November 15. Hawkins had a special connection to the Crescent City. He'd lived there as a young man. It's also where he met his wife and started his family.
Katie found a group of local musicians who performed a New Orleans "second line" parade through the streets of Atlanta's Cabbagetown neighborhood.