It was a Thanksgiving tradition for Arthur Lee Mourning Jr. to get into a playful argument with his siblings about their mother’s homemade banana pudding.
That was the conversation that Mourning had Tuesday with his sister Trina Dodson.
“We were fussing about who was going to get the banana pudding,” Dodson said. “He said not to eat it until he got there.”
But on Wednesday, a day before Thanksgiving dinner, police said Mourning, 49, was mortally wounded during a robbery in the 3100 block of East 49th Street. The area is near the intersection of East 49th and Bellefontaine Avenue.
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Police said Mourning answered a knock on his door and was confronted by someone. The person shot him after robbing him at gunpoint. He died at a hospital hours later.
“They took a huge part away from us,” Dodson said. “They took something very valuable from us ... very, very valuable.”
Mourning, a father of six who had five siblings, was called “Lee Lee” by family and friends. He grew up in Kansas City near 49th Street and Euclid Avenue and attended Paseo High School. Despite numerous opportunities to live elsewhere, Mourning remained in Kansas City near the area where he grew up.
“He loves that area,” said Dodson. “All of his friends lived there.
Dodson said her brother loved spending time with family and standing over a barbecue grill.
He recently polished his skills as a bowler. Growing up, Mourning played 3&2 Baseball and excelled as a pitcher.
Mourning was a plant worker for Guy’s Potato Chips and held other jobs. However, a car wreck years ago left him with an injured hand that prevented him from working.
He also was a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan,
Community activist Pat Clarke said the shooting was senseless because Mourning was a friend, brother, uncle, cousin and a father.
“For whatever reason (why this happened), it ain’t good enough for me,” said Clarke, who had known Mourning for decades.
Almost every year, Mourning would accompany his father to the annual Thanksgiving breakfast dance. Afterward, Mourning would trek over to his mother’s house for the family dinner.
“But this year, he’s not here,” Dodson said.