Lonnie Ali talks about her purpose - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Lonnie Ali talks about her purpose

It’s been nearly four months since Muhammad Ali passed away. Since then his widow, Lonnie Ali, said she has found a new purpose. (Source: WAVE 3 News) It’s been nearly four months since Muhammad Ali passed away. Since then his widow, Lonnie Ali, said she has found a new purpose. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It’s been nearly four months since Muhammad Ali passed away. Since then his widow, Lonnie Ali, said she has found a new purpose.

Lonnie Ali said her purpose for decades was to care for Muhammad Ali and now she is caring for his legacy.
 
“You realize you have to find something to fill that void. And that void is his legacy. I have to fill that void by doing things to fill that legacy,” Lonnie Ali said.
 
Tuesday night Ali is hosting an event to thank many people in WAVE Country who played a role in the public memorial service in June.

>> MORE MUHAMMAD ALI NEWS

“It was so amazing, so overwhelming. Not in my grandest dreams would I have believed that many people would have descended on Louisville, Kentucky to pay homage and final respects to Muhammad,” Lonnie Ali said.

She said she wants to properly thank the city, the Mayor, the employees of the Ali Center, the media, police department, the KFC Yum Center, community workers, etc. 

“I was so proud of this city.  So proud yet humbled by the outpouring that everyone shared.  It was absolutely beautiful.  But Muhammad was beautiful.  And I call that the Ali effect,” Lonnie Ali said.
 
She shared with me that she made the decision to speak at the memorial service two days before the event. She said she wanted to make sure that certain things were shared because she owed it to Muhammad, to his legacy, and to the world.
 
Lonnie Ali’s days have been busy. She still spends most of her time in Arizona.  She plans to sell the Louisville home in favor of something smaller in town, closer to the Ali Center.
 
She also has been promoting Ali 75. She’s encouraging people to volunteer 75 hours throughout the year, starting on Jan. 17, 2017, which would have been Ali’s 75th birthday.

She also is keeping his memory and vision front and center. She was on the field at the University of Louisville/Florida State University game as Muhammad Ali was honored. The UofL team’s helmets had butterflies on them. 

“Muhammad was not going to allow 56,000 captive fans, with his face, his voice and not win that game,” Lonnie Ali said. “That was a total knockout.”
 
Lonnie Ali said in his last years they spent a lot of time watching Westerns. But she limited the amount of news on the television in the house. She felt that Muhammad would be depressed to learn about the racial discord and violence taking part in the country and that he would think “we’re going backwards instead of forwards.”

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She said that “(Ali) would say all lives matter. Everyone’s lives matter. Black, white, yellow, white, red, all of us matter and we need to respect one another as such.”

Lonnie Ali said she and the children are all hoping to one day feel his presence in their lives. 

“I know some people don’t believe this. I do,” Lonnie Ali said. 

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