After only three months in Columbia, Sydney Timmons was part of a family. A family that drove to New York to pick him up, although they had not met him face to face before, and brought him to a new home in Columbia.
"He never felt that he was at home 'til he was in Columbia," roommate and longtime friend Nicky Brookhart said.
Brookhart was part of the family that embraced Mr. Timmons when he came to Columbia. Brookhart and Timmons had talked over the phone and on the Internet during the eight years before he came to Columbia.
"I always felt like his sister but sometimes I felt like I was his mom. I would have to tell him to clean his room and stuff," Brookhart said. "He would just say, 'You know what, I'm not five, I'm 25 going on 26. You need to know these things.'"
Mr. Timmons died Monday, April 12, 2010. He was 25. Mr. Timmons' body was found that morning in a field east of Rice Road. An autopsy indicated that there was no foul play and police are awaiting a toxicology report.
Born April 21, 1984, in Fort Worth, Texas, as Tamaura Timmons, Mr. Timmons would have turned 26 this week.
As a young adult, he moved to New York where he sold newspapers until January when Brookhart and her fiance settled him into their house in Columbia.
When he came to the Midwest, he brought a little piece of New England with him. "He loved sports," Brookhart said. "One of the first conversations we had was about the Red Sox."
Mr. Timmons enjoyed being outdoors, skateboarding and snowboarding, according to friends. He also highly valued his Jewish faith, Brookhart said.
He worked with Brookhart's fiance, Beaux Moore, at Landscaping & More. "He was like my little brother and I loved him," Moore said. "Every day was memorable with Syd."
While Mr. Timmons struggled with depression, his friends recall most his loving and giving nature.
"The last text message he sent me said, 'I love you so much,'" said Misty Brown, Moore's sister. "I still have it on my phone."
Brown remembers Mr. Timmons coming to her rescue one winter morning.
"I was really sick during one of the bitterest days in winter. Syd rode his bicycle in the snow for two miles just to get me medicine," Brown said. "I will never forget that."
Amber Boles, an ex-girlfriend and close friend of Mr. Timmons, said, "He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it."
When asked what was her fondest memory of Mr. Timmons, only one came to mind. "I just remember when he brought me pink tulips for Valentine's Day. He was so proud," Boles said. "It was just an example of what a sweet person he was. He would do anything to make you smile."
Mr. Timmons is survived by his parents Linda Ramsey and Larry Timmons, and his brother Travis Timmons.
Graveside services will be held on Mr. Timmons' birthday, 1 p.m. Wednesday at Columbia Cemetery, 30 E. Broadway. Mary Hartigan of Congregation Beth Shalom will be officiating.
Condolences and donations to cover funeral expenses can be made at Heartland Crematory & Funeral Home or Columbia Cemetery.