By Lonnie Huhman,
Honoring his dedication and service, John “Jack” Brigham’s legacy was remembered by the community on June 14 as it kicked off the start to Dexter’s Summer Concert Series.
This moment and his memorial the next day at the Webster United Church of Christ were held to honor Brigham, who passed away on May 8, peacefully at the age of 94, with his loving wife of 71 years, Gloria, by his side.
“This is really nice,” said Gloria while sitting out in front of the gazebo at Monument Park just before the concert series began with longtime friend and fellow scout leader Dave Kluck reading the poem “A Toast to the Boys,” and Johannes Von Buelow, an Eagle Scout from Dexter’s Troop 477, playing “Taps” on his bugle.
Gloria said they didn’t expect the playing of Taps, but in considering the memorial the next day, she said when she, family and friends heard what Troop 477 and the Chamber would be doing, they really felt the community support and were very honored by the gesture.
Brigham was a leader for the Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts of America in Dexter for Troop 477 for over 60 years. He helped lead 124 scouts to achieve the honored ranking of Eagle Scout
“Helping kids meant a lot to him,” said his son John, who was also at the concert.
The Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce, who sponsors the concert series, said it wanted to honor Brigham’s dedication and service at the first concert, which each year has the Dexter Community Orchestra opening the series.
“The Chamber is proud to honor Jack’s service to the community,” the Dexter Area Chamber said prior to the Friday night concert.
“Taps,” traditionally played at dusk, during flag ceremonies, at military funerals by the United States Armed Forces, is also performed often at Boy Scout meetings and camps. Prior to scout meetings, Johannes said he would play it.
Before doing so at the concert, he said he was honored to play it in downtown Dexter in memory of Brigham, who he said was very inspirational for many scouts like him.
“He was probably the best Scoutmaster ever,” he said.
Kluck said Brigham was very much a behind the scenes leader, who didn’t seek recognition or credit. He said Brigham made a positive impact on generations of Dexter kids and it was this that motivated.
In reading the poem, Kluck ended by saying, “They’re what it’s all for, we do it for them.”
A moment of silence followed the poem.