Vigil held for ‘Chuck’

Published 9:22 pm Friday, January 20, 2017

More than 140 people gathered at a candlelight vigil Friday evening to remember a young man who died in a car crash earlier this week.

Eric “Chuck” Brown Jr., 21, was remembered as a fun-loving, respectful guy.

“He loved to joke, loved to play,” said Tony Malette, a friend of the family. “He was respectful. He was raised right. My hat’s off to the parents. Your work was not in vain. I don’t care where you saw him at, he would come up to you and shake your hand.”

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Those in attendance at Friday’s vigil gathered at a White Marsh Road shopping center and walked down Davis Boulevard, coming to a stop in an apartment complex to share memories. The Suffolk Police Department provided assistance stopping traffic.

Brown lived in Suffolk all his life and graduated from Lakeland High School in 2013. His nickname was Chuck, and everyone referred to him as such on Friday night.

His mother, Denise, said he got the nickname as a toddler, when she saw a photo of him dressed like the horror movie doll, Chucky.

His father, Eric Brown Sr., remembered when he got his son a dirt bike, and Chuck got on and fell off.

“He got right back up and rode it again,” he said. “He was a good kid.”

Domenick Epps, who helped organize the vigil, used to coach Chuck in youth football with the Suffolk Steelers.

“When I would yell and scream, Chuck would laugh at me,” Epps recalled. “He got serious on the field. I’ve got some great memories.”

Uncle Maurice Whitehead, who also coached Chuck in football, also said Chuck was a good guy.

“He will be truly missed,” said Chuck’s godmother, Kimberly Beamon.

Brown crashes his Acura in a collision with a minivan on Route 58 westbound on Jan. 15. He died at the hospital on Jan. 16. He was on his way home from work at Clover Leaf Cold Storage in Chesapeake, his mother said.

Being so young, Brown didn’t have life insurance, his mother said. Epps encouraged those present to get life insurance but, more importantly, to get “salvation insurance.”

“We want to make sure you have a heavenly home,” he said.

The family is trying to raise money to help pay for Brown’s services. A car wash will take place this Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. on Hunter Street, where his mother lives. In addition, a basketball game is planned for the future.

The family is seeking additional donations on a GoFundMe page. Visit