Fuqua’s former players asked to wear jerseys in coach’s honor

Published 2:00 am Saturday, February 2, 2019

Bo Fuqua’s name is so synonymous with baseball at Pleasant Home that his family is asking former players to wear jerseys and serve as honorary pallbearers at his funeral on Sunday.

Fuqua, who was 46, died in a Pensacola hospital Thursday of complications from multiple myeloma.

“Bo has always loved baseball,” his wife, Lori Helms Fuqua, said. “He has played it since 5 years old. When our son (Judd) was born, of course, he played baseball, and Bo has always been coach.

“You can’t not love Coach Bo,” Mrs. Fuqua said. “He had an influence on every kid he ever coached.”

Related: Friends raising funds for Fuqua family

And as much as he loved winning baseball games, the relationships of teams was more important, she said.

A week ago, Fuqua escorted his daughter in Pleasant Home’s homecoming court.
Courtesy photo

“He wanted to build a relationship with those boys,” Mrs. Fuqua said. “He cared more about that than winning.”

Blaine Wilson grew up playing baseball with Fuqua and suggested that Bo learned that strategy from their coach, Chick Earle. Mrs. Fuqua was quick to agree.

“Oh, absolutely,” she said. “Chick Earle was his idol. He learned everything he knew from Chick Earle.”

At Pleasant Home, Fuqua looked after the baseball and softball fields, dragging the field, planting grass – anything that needed to be done.

Fuqua was diagnosed on January 3, after learning that a broken arm was caused not by an accident, but by disease that caused his bone to weaken. Multiple myeloma causes tumors in the bones, and doctors found several.

He started a chemo regimen, and last Friday night, was able to escort his daughter, Logan, when she was honored as a freshman maid in Pleasant Home’s homecoming court.

But by Sunday, he was so dehydrated that Mrs. Fuqua took him to the emergency room. By Sunday night he was transferred to Sacred Heart because his kidneys had begun to shut down.  Doctors told the family that with multiple myeloma, just the normal bacteria in a person’s body can cause serious problems.

Mrs. Fuqua said when she started thinking about planning her husband’s funeral, she knew that baseball had to be a part of it.

“I just knew I wanted to include his players,” she said. “That way, they could wear their jerseys and stand out. They could give something back.”

The Fuquas were classmates, beginning in kindergarten, when they sat beside each other. They were boyfriend and girlfriend in junior high, but didn’t date again until after high school.

Mrs. Fuqua said her husband was the hardest working person she’s known in her entire life.

“He would bend over backward to help anybody with anything,” she said. “I don’t know anybody who didn’t love Bo.”

Fuqua worked for Don Bullard.

“He was a fine, fine, fine man,” Bullard said Friday. “He pretty much looked after all of my farming and cattle operation, and the Covington Center Arena. He’d been with me for 14 or 15 years, and was just like part of the family. It’s like it’s a bad dream we want to wake up from.”

Bullard said Fuqua was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt.

“We hunted together every year,” he said. “But turkey hunting was probably his passion, and he was good, good, good at it.”

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, at Carolina Baptist Church. Click here for complete obituary information.