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Odin Lloyd’s mother recalls him as her ‘hero’

Ursula Ward held up photo of her son.

Meghan Irons/Globe Staff

Ursula Ward held up photo of her son.

One picture is of Odin L. Lloyd as a toddler gripping to his mother’s floral settee and staring into the camera like he’s discovered something marvelous -- like walking.

In another photograph of he is a bigger, bulkier boy dressed in a black suit with a silver vest and smiling coolly with his mother and two sisters.

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There are other pictures, too, of Lloyd over his 27 years, from the buck-tooth boy to sweet-smiling teenager.

As the family prepares to hold funeral services for the Dorchester man who was allegedly murdered by former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez on June 17, his mother and sister stood outside their home on Fayston Street today scanning through pictures of him.

“My son did not disappoint me in his life growing up,’’ said Ursula Ward, his mother. “My son died a king. He is my hero. He’s the love of my life.”

The funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Church of the Holy Spirit, an Episcopal congregation in Mattapan. Viewing will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Lloyd was found shot to death June 17 in an industrial park near the North Attleborough home of Hernandez. His death became national news through Lloyd’s connection to Hernandez, a connection that authorities was forged when both Lloyd and Hernandez started dating sisters.

Hernandez, 23, is being being held without bail at the Bristol County Jail after pleading not guilty to charges that he orchestrated the execution-style murder of Lloyd. Two other Connecticut men, Carlos Ortiz, 27, and Ernest Wallace, 41, are also in custody and facing charges in Massachusetts, although neither men has been charged with murdering Lloyd.

Ortiz today pleaded not guilty to a single charge of unlawful carrying of a firearm in Attleboro District Court where he was ordered held without bail. Wallace was arrested in Miramar, Fla. today and faces accessory after the fact of murder.

While much of the media attention has focused on the former star of the Patriots offense, residents along Dorchester’s Fayston Street have been quick to note that Lloyd was also their superstar -- the neighborhood athlete passionate about football, friends and family.

A big man himself at 5-feet-11 and roughly 210 pounds, Lloyd idolized the tenacity of Chicago Bears great linebacker Brian Urlacher and former Baltimore Ravens big man Ray Lewis, according to his uncle who would only identify himself as Ed.

He was a fierce defensive back on his football team at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science, his coaches said.

As she stood outside yesterday sorting pictures before the funeral, Ward had one thing on her mind when she thinks of her son.

“I just want my son back. I want to make sure he goes in peace,’’ she said.

If her were alive and saw her in such grief, he would comfort her.

He would say: “ ‘Mommy why are you crying?’ she said. “ ‘I’m out of this corrupt world.’ ”

Meghan Irons can be reached at mirons@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.

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