Lincoln North Star Remembers Former Classmate with "Team Key" Shirts

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Lincoln, Neb.-- Wayne State College freshman Eddie Key was found dead in his Berry Hall dorm room on the school's campus around 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate Eddie died of pulmonary edema as a result of bacterial pneumonia of the lungs. In most cases, heart problems cause this condition, which is characterized by excess fluid in the lungs.

It also shows neither alcohol nor drugs played a factor in his death. Police also ruled out self-inflicted injuries. Complete autopsy and toxicology results may take several weeks.

Eddie was from Lincoln and played football at Lincoln North Star High School, before he went on to become a defensive end for the WSC football team.

Friends and former classmates of Eddie gathered before the Lincoln North Star game Thursday night for a moment of silence in honor of their friend.

They say Eddie's smile was infectious and left a lasting impression on all he met.

Eddie Key was well known for his play on the field, but his personality off the gridiron is what his friends say they'll always remember.

Before the game started, the crowd took a moment of silence. Though it was somber, that's the exact opposite of how friends will remember him.

"He was always smiling, no matter what he was doing, he had a smile on. Even if he didn't want to do it." said Jake Juracek, a Lincoln North Star student.

That smile is now inspiration for Lincoln North Star students. It may have been senior night on the court, but fans were also supporting a dear and loyal friend.

"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.

Kim McKee is a North Star parent and owns the company that designed the shirts to remember Eddie.

The front is a tribute to his smile and gentle nature. 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.

Everywhere you look was a sea of blue for one of their own.

"(It) shows you what impact he had on everyone's lives, he was that guy that everyone just loved him. I couldn't say a bad thing about him." said Juracek.

While friends grieve and remember all the good times with Eddie, they say this is the least they could do for someone they'll never forget.

"He could be like one of my brothers. He was just an awesome guy and I just loved him." said Juracek.

Juracek says he's also ordered bracelets that say "E-K-3" for Eddie Key the Third.

All proceeds for shirt and bracelet sales will go to the Key family.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday Feb. 16 at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 8550 Pioneer Blvd., in Lincoln. Visitation will be from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, with a family greet from 5 to 7 p.m. at Metcalf Funeral Home, 245 N. 27th Street, Lincoln.

Moment of Silence for Eddie Key
Team Key III shirts honor Eddie Key