Performers shared music and memories at a Sunday afternoon tribute to late Sylvania songster Eddie Boggs.
More than a dozen entertainers sang, fiddled, picked, and drummed to honor Mr. Boggs, who died of cancer in January at age 68. A longtime educator and performer, Mr. Boggs touched countless Ohioans with his community-oriented spirit and passion for music.
About 250 people attended the free concert at the Franciscan Center of Lourdes University. Guests were encouraged to donate to the Victory Center, an organization that supports cancer patients and their families.
PHOTO GALLERY: Eddie Boggs tribute
Mr. Boggs “raised music to theology,” U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) told the crowd. Miss Kaptur, who recalled Mr. Boggs’ “sparkling smile,” was one of many speakers who reminisced about him between musical numbers.
Superintendent of Sylvania Schools Brad Rieger said Mr. Boggs encouraged everyone he met to “live more fully.”
He recalled that Mr. Boggs chose to sing a song, not give a speech, after winning a district award. His selection — “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — inspired the faculty and staff.
“When the spotlight was supposed to be on him, he turned the tables to spotlight other people,” Mr. Reiger said.
The featured musicians had known or worked with Mr. Boggs. Some chose songs that Mr. Boggs had enjoyed; others chose songs that reflected his spirit. Most came from the American folk tradition for which he was known.
The audience clapped along and tapped their toes, even contributing lyrical support during Bob Wurst’s singalong of “Sweet Caroline.”
One of the most moving moments occurred after a broken CD forced Jean Holden, known as “Toledo’s First Lady of Song,” to perform without music. Her emotional performance brought the audience to its feet.
Nancy Cole of Temperance called the concert “wonderful.”
“You just smile when you think of him,” she said of Mr. Boggs.
Members of the men’s gospel group First Creation, who performed two songs, also said the event was a fitting memorial to honor Mr. Boggs
“It was a great tribute to Eddie,” member Ron Hogue said.
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