HEBRON, Ky. — A U.S. Navy veteran, husband and father killed in a car crash last month returned to Northern Kentucky Tuesday evening, and hundreds showed up to pay their respects as he came home.
Brent Sturgeon, who enlisted in the Navy after graduating from Conner High School in 2008, was killed in a car crash on Aug. 19 in San Diego. He was 30 years old.
Members of the community holding signs and donning a lot of red, white and blue lined Route 237 and KY-18 in Burlington during a procession for Sturgeon Tuesday evening.
Greg Arens, one of Sturgeon’s friends and high school basketball teammates, said the display of gratitude speaks volumes about the community.
“Especially with everything going on right now. Seeing something like this restores faith in humanity,” he said.
Sturgeon leaves behind his wife, Jessica, son Michael and another child due in November.
“It hurts you know,” Arens said. “He hasn’t been married for that long. Baby on the way. It just hurts.”
Another friend, Thomas Streck, said Sturgeon’s life centered around serving others and his country.
“He would be shy about it. He was never the center of attention. He was the guy behind the scenes, supported everyone and got them through,” Streck said.
For those who knew him, you couldn’t miss his personality that would light up a room.
“Definitely the goofy kid,” Streck said. “He could make anyone laugh. Didn’t matter if you were having a bad day or a great day. You could count on Brent to help you.”
Petty Officer Third Class Ryan Albin said when he heard the heartbreaking story, he immediately thought of Sturgeon’s family.
“We all come together to show, give comfort to the family. That we always think of each other, and be there for each other,” he said at Tuesday’s procession.
Sturgeon’s mother found comfort Tuesday in family and friends, sharing stories of his past hoping a bit of his spirit will live on. For Streck, he wants people to remember his friend’s big heart.
“I just want people to know that he was a great man. He’s there for you. He was a great father, especially to his son. He loved them very dearly. His wife. He was the nicest kindest person you could imagine,” he said.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Linnemann Funeral Home, 1940 Burlington Pike and will be limited inside due to COVID restrictions. A service will be held following the visitation at 1 p.m. at the funeral home before his family lays him to rest in a private ceremony.