"Awesome Guy" Remembered

Friends and former classmates of Eddie Key III gathered before the Lincoln North Star High School basketball game Thursday night for a moment of silence in his memory.

The 18-year-old, who graduated last May, was found dead last Saturday in his dorm room at Wayne State College. Autopsy results show that pneumonia was the cause of death. Deputy Wayne County Attorney Amy Miller said bacterial pneumonia filled Key's lungs with fluid and he likely died in his sleep.

Doctors tell WOWT 6 News anyone can get bacterial pneumonia, even a healthy teenager like Key. The bacteria that causes bacterial pneumonia can reside in a person's throat and while a person's body filters germs that we breathe, sometimes those germs do find a way to enter the lungs and cause infections. "What can happen is we get run down, we don't sleep enough, we don't eat properly and the organisms, they start to win," said Prof. Susanne Von Essen.

Eddie Key

Key, a standout offensive lineman in football at Lincoln North Star, played defensive end for Wayne State last fall. "He was just a great guy, very polite, a yes ma'am, no ma'am type of person," said roommate and teammate Nate Rodgers. "Very funny to be around. Everybody wanted to be his friend. And just very unfortunate with what happened to him."

"He was always smiling, no matter what he was doing, he had a smile on," said Lincoln North Star student Jake Juracek.

"It made me proud to be part of the Gator family and part of this because it really brought them together," said Kim McKee, parent and owner of Here's Your Sign, which designed T-shirts to remember Eddie. The front is a tribute to his smile and gentle nature and the back displays a football play Eddie knew well, right far zoom, 25 power. "So we went ahead and put his play on here since he's the lead blocker in it," said McKee.

It was a sea of blue at Lincoln North Star for one of their own. "Shows you what impact he had on everyone's lives, he was that guy that everyone just loved him," said Juracek. "I couldn't say a bad thing about him. He could be like one of my brothers. He was just an awesome guy and I just loved him."

Juracek has ordered bracelets that say "EK3" for Eddie Key III. All proceeds from shirt and bracelet sales go to the Key family.

Visitation will be from noon to 7 p.m. Friday with a family greet from 5 to 7 p.m. at Metcalf Funeral Home in Lincoln. Key's funeral service starts 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Lincoln.

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