Friends of Eric Frederick – “Freddy,” as they knew him – packed into Hobbs Funeral Home in South Portland on Monday to remember the young man who was always open to try a new sport, meet new people and have a good time.

“He just liked to have fun,” said friend and co-worker Ted Bonenfant after his funeral.

Frederick, 19, of Scarborough, died July 11 at Maine Medical Center after suffering severe head injuries in a single-car accident July 10 in Buxton.

The driver, Jesse Gay, 23, of Old Orchard Beach, lost control of a car that was traveling southeast on Simpson Road at about 6 p.m. According to a police report, the car struck several trees, crossed the road and landed in a ditch.

Buxton Police Chief Jody Thomas said Monday that speeding and alcohol are being investigated as possible factors in the crash. She said the toxicology results should be ready within the week, but it’s “going to take quite a while” before the investigation is complete and the materials are handed over to the district attorney’s office.

Frederick was a 2006 graduate of Scarborough High School and worked at the Clambake Restaurant in Pine Point, where a celebration of his life was held following the funeral.

Frederick’s uncle, Mike Willett, and his stepfather, Paul Coons, spoke at the service to the friends and family flowing out the door of the funeral home. The crowd, they said, was a testament to his friendly, likable nature.

Coons said Frederick moved to Scarborough in seventh grade, which is a difficult time to transplant a teenager into a new setting.

“We were impressed, not that he could find friends, but of the quality of friends that he found,” Coons said.

Coons invited a few of those friends to place items in the casket, and got the group gathered chuckling as they remembered Frederick’s quirks.

“You don’t prepare for this. You kind of just go with your gut,” Coons said. “We decided we were going to give Eric the kind of sendoff he would have wanted.”

Among the items placed in the casket were his senior shirt, an old hat and a hacky sack with “rasta colors,” said Coons

“He was a bit of a Bob Marley guy. We all know that,” Coons said, referring to reggae singer.

According to friend James Welsch, playing hacky sack was one of many sports Frederick enjoyed, along with Frisbee, skateboarding and football. Frederick was part of the Scarborough High School football team that won the 2002 Class B championship.

Frederick also had “a passion for music,” according to Willett. Schoolmates and co-workers Bonenfant and Brian Decker said he liked many kinds of music, including ska and metal, and his favorite band was Sublime.

“He liked to go to shows a lot,” Bonenfant said.

Though Frederick had many interests, he stood out most to friends for being carefree.

“I think the best thing I could say about him was that he was a really happy kid,” Welsch said. “He had this energy about him that was very unique.”

“He was always smiling,” said Bonenfant.

Coons alluded to the fact that he and Frederick had their fair share of disagreements, but, he said, the last year they spent together brought them closer than they had ever been before.

One point of contention between Frederick and his parents was his cigarette smoking, but Coons conceded and gave him one last pack to keep in the casket, along with a key to the family’s home – “the third one he’s had to have in the last year,” Coons joked, but added that Frederick was always welcome back, though the key was more of a symbolic gesture.

“He knows how to sneak in anyway,” Coons said.

Though Coons said the past year was the greatest time he shared with Frederick, he was especially appreciative of the final hours they got to spend together – the “little bit of extra time to be alone in the room alone with him” – after the family made the decision to donate his organs. Coons said there are two lives that they already know have been saved by his organs.

“Eric is a hero,” Willett said. “He lives on in ways we can’t imagine.”

Though the funeral was spent both celebrating Frederick’s life and mourning his death, Coons reminded those gathered to head to the Clambake in the spirit of his stepson.

“As Eric would want to do, there’s a little partying to be done,” he said.

‘Freddy’ remembered for smile, spirit


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