May 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Motorcycle accident kills man

STRONGSVILLE — William “Billy” Bricker Jr. was the kind of man who never let his father cut the grass. The kind of man who never saw his stepmom, stepsister or stepsons as less than blood relatives. The kind of man who would umpire extra softball games during the week just because he loved the game and helping others.

“I’ve never met anybody with a bigger heart,” his wife, Lynne said.

Bricker, of Brunswick, died Thursday at the age of 39 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Strongsville on June 26.

His father, Bill Bricker, said his son’s Harley-Davidson was struck by a pickup at the intersection of Howe and Boston roads around 8:30 a.m. on his way to umpire a softball game at Neura Park in Brunswick.

The elder Bricker said his son was an avid sports fan, but especially loved softball.

The two played together in a Brunswick father-son league for more than 15 years and lived just two houses away from each other.

“Whenever we played ball, he was my catcher, and I was the pitcher,” the father said. “The last warm-up pitch, he’d never throw it back to me, he’d always run the ball out to the mound and hand it to me.

“It was the sentimental stuff like that.”

He said his son worked as a mechanic for Great Lakes Cold Storage in Solon and was always the first to offer to fix anything at work or at home.

Lynne Bricker said she and her husband were married less than two years but were together for eight, and her two sons immediately became his as well.

“To them, that’s what he is,” she said. “He was the best part that a dad could be.”

A banner with Bricker’s softball number, 55, and the words “In Our Hearts” now hangs from the outfield fence at Neura Park.

His father said the team is already taking steps to set up memorial tournaments for his family and is trying to rename the field after his son.

Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at Waite and Sons Funeral Home, 3300 Center Road, Brunswick. Visitation will be 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. until the time of services on Wednesday.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or