Nearly 1,000 people gathered Monday, Jan. 7 to pay respects to Steven D. Reimer, 23, of Oak Forest. Reimer died suddenly Jan. 1, 2013.
Cherished son of Steven Sr. and Robin, Steven was a loving brother to Daniel and caring uncle to Alexis Elrod. He was a beloved grandson to Barbara Crundwell, and David and Loretta Reimer.
Reimer was a 2007 graduate of Oak Forest High School, where he wore the number 72 as defensive tackle for the Bengals. His friends remember him as a "gentle giant" with a good heart.
His former teammates filled the space around him Monday, many placing their jerseys with him in the casket. Some wished they could spend the night alongside him, one friend of the family said.
"He was the kindest, most loving boy," said Tina Kessens, mother of Reimer's former teammate Benjamin. "A smile for days. ... The best friend to everyone."
Reimer went on to attend Lincoln College, before becoming a security guard at a south suburban bar.
"Steven was the kind of person that could make anyone smile just by walking into a room," one friend said. "He had a contagious smile and a heart of gold. He was an amazing friend, son, grandson, nephew, brother, and uncle. .... It's a tragedy that we all have lost someone so amazing."
The cause of death is pending autopsy results.
The family welcomes all those who wish to pay final respects to Steven to Zimmerman and Sandeman Funeral Home, 9900 W. 143rd, St. in Orland Park. Final visitation will be held Jan. 8 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Interment will take place at Good Shepard Cementary, 6201 S. 104th Ave. in Orland Park, at 12:30 p.m.
For the complete obituary, visit the website of Zimmerman and Sandeman Funeral Home.