SIDNEY — Friends of Eddie Briggs will be remembering him Sunday, Sept. 24, with a candlelight vigil and memorial at 8 p.m. on courtsquare in downtown Sidney.
“He was a kind person,” said Ginger Elsass, one of the vigil organizers. “He ran into some unfortunate issues in his life. But that didn’t have a bearing on how he treated people. He was a special soul.”
Elsass said she has ordered 200 candles for the vigil but also encourages people to bring their own candles.
Briggs, 66, died Sunday, Sept. 17, at Miami Valley Hospital.
He graduated from Sidney High School’s Class of 1975. He was a member of the SHS basketball team.
“He was a great basketball player,” said Elsass. “He was looking at (sports) scholarships and to make that his career, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
John Scheu, former Sidney City Schools teacher, coach and superintendent, met Briggs during his first year teaching at Sidney High School. He had Briggs in his world history class. Scheu was also the junior varsity basketball coach had coached Briggs during his high school career.
“He was a very happy-go-lucky person,” said Scheu. “He had a pleasant personality and was well liked by his teammates. He was a nice guy and a good basketball player.”
Scheu said he’s impressed on how the community has embraced Briggs and his memory.
“When you see someone who’s always present in the downtown area, you get to know him,” said Scheu. “There was not a mean bone in his body. It was sad for people to see him in that situation.
“What the community is doing doesn’t surprise me at all,” he said. “I don’t think he had any family in the area. So this is an appropriate thing to do. I’m glad to see someone organize the vigil.”
Scheu said he saw Briggs in the past year outside Amelio’s and talked to him.
“I told him I was his teacher and basketball coach,” said Scheu. “And he remembered me.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds for his headstone. Donations can be made at https://bit.ly/3PkllD0. A donation container will also be at the vigil Sunday night.
According to Cromes-Edwards Funeral Home, Briggs had planned his funeral and it is already paid for. The only thing not paid for is his headstone.
Ashleigh Clark is also doing a fundraiser. She is selling decals for $5; T-shirts for $20; long-sleeved T-shirts for $25 and hoodie sweatshirts for $30. She’s doing two logos and the person ordering can select which one they want on the decal or shirt. The first is “In loving memory of Eddie Briggs Your wings were ready but our hearts were not”. The second one will say “May God bless you and your family – Eddie Briggs”. Orders can be emailed to her at [email protected] or on her Facebook page, https://bit.ly/3rouSRB.
Clark said she and her family lived down the road from Briggs.
“We saw him so many times a day and we would talk to him and help him out when we can,” said Clark.
Clark will be donating $5 from each decal sold to assist with costs. She will be donating $15 for each shirt sold.
Services will be held Friday, Sept. 29, at 1 p.m. at Cromes-Edwards Funeral Home. Visitation will be held from noon until 1 p.m. Sept. 29, at the funeral home.
“We hoping to get enough money to cover the costs and to purchase a headstone,” said Elsass. “Anything above the costs of the funeral and headstone will be donated to a charity in Eddie’s name.”
The funeral home’s obituary for Briggs lists the Alpha Center as the charity of choice.
For more information, contact Elsass at 937-638-6915.