Funeral for Oswego boy killed playing baseball

April 20, 2012 4:31:05 AM PDT
A 12-year-old boy was remembered Thursday as family, friends, teammates and coaches gathered to say goodbye to Eric Lederman.

Lederman died after he was struck on the neck by a baseball. The accident happened before a game in Wheaton last week. His funeral was Thursday morning in Montgomery.

It is a loss the community is struggling with. Although just 12 years old, Lederman knew how to enjoy life. Thursday, as many paid their final respects, he was remembered as an all-American kid with a great sense of humor who never missed an opportunity to make others happy.

The short life of the Oswego boy was celebrated as he was remembered as an avid athlete and happy kid who had a way of making everyone around him smile.

Hundreds gathered for Thursday morning's funeral service for the sixth grader. Those in attendance heard tributes from his older brother and sister as well as others.

"He's a great kid," said football coach Tim Weszelits. "There's few people that didn't know this family: great parents, great siblings, good student. I mean, what else can you say about the kid? He's just fantastic."

It was last Wednesday when the unthinkable happened. Eric Lederman played for Oswego's 12 and under travel team.

It was as Lederman and his teammates warmed up for the game that he was accidentally hit in the neck with a baseball. He died the next night.

The open casket of the Thompson Junior High School student was accompanied by floral arrangements, and notes from teammates and friends.

Mourners say Lederman had on his orange and white sports jersey.

"He just died playing what he loved," said Eric's classmate Christina Alonzo.

Meanwhile, the community of teammates, friends, and classmates are left to struggle with the loss.

"It's a heartbreak for everybody that knows the family," said family friend Jeannie Lamarre. "You can't wrap your brain around it."

Thursday morning's overflow service lasted about an hour before a private burial.

Oswego Baseball and Softball Association (OBSA) in conjunction with Oswego Youth Tackle Football (OYTF), have set up a memorial fund for Eric Lederman. Monetary donations can be made to the memorial fund at Allied First Bank, 3201 Orchard Road, Oswego, Illinois 60543 (tel: 630-383-0161) under "Eric Lederman Memorial Fund."