By Allen Payton
An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people gathered in the parking lot near Lumpy’s Diner in Antioch, Friday night, June 19th to remember owner Jeremy “Lumpy” Sturgill, who died suddenly at the age of 35, the previous Tuesday morning.
Those in attendance held lighted candles and listened to family members and friends share their thoughts. Speakers included his father and mother, car club leaders and then, finally, his wife Marci.
“You can’t outgive the Lord,” said his mother Kathy Sturgill speaking of her memory of the first fundraiser Lumpy held at his restaurant and the conversation she had with him about it. “All he wanted to do was make everyone proud of him. I can tell you we are proud of our son. I’m gonna miss my son. But, I love that boy.”
“This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do,” his father Dave “Digger” Sturgill, owner of Diggers in Brentwood, said. “They call me Digger because I’m a grave digger. Today I had to pick out the casket for my son. But I believe he made things right with God, and I will see him again. If you give your heart to Jesus you will see him again. That is the desire of my heart.”
Following Sturgill’s parents, leaders of various car clubs, which had participated in car shows in the same parking lot, spoke
“It didn’t matter what connected you to Lumpy, whether it was sports, art, or just good food,” said Arami Picazo of the Pastimes Car Club. “He made a connection with you. I’ll always remember Lumpy for the loving, caring person he was. As we celebrate Lumpy’s life let’s take a moment to remember the moments that were special.”
Gena Noack, Manager of Lumpy’s Diner, spoke as the female servers, known as the angels, stood next to her.
“I’m going to make this diner, with Marci, what he wanted,” she said. “This is the angels. Now, Lump now you’re our angel.”
Then, Marci Sturgill spoke and offered an emotional thank you to all those who attended.
Family and friends, seated in the center of the crowd, were then handed lanterns, which when lit, floated into the sky. Although it was a windy night, most all of the lanterns were able to launch.
The funeral service for Lumpy will be held this Wednesday and visitation will be Tuesday night. For details, please click here.