MIDDLE RIVER, Md. — Dozens packed into a middle river parking lot to say goodbye to a beloved staple in their community.
Mr. Stanley died after being hit by a car less than a week ago on Pulaski Highway.
He touched many hearts in his 68-years of life.
A Home Depot parking lot was transformed into a service filled with singing, glowing candles, and heavy hearts to him Sunday evening.
“I’ve seen Mr. Stanley for the last 10 years walking up and down Route 40. My heart went out to him and his family when I found out the tragic news,” said Scott Wilson who attended candle light vigil.
RELATED: Mr. Stanley's final steps
Wilson and his wife are among the hundreds walking away with memories of Mr. Stanley that will live long beyond his years.
“It’s overwhelming, I’ll tell you that. I wasn't expecting this,” said Frank Vingsen, Stanley’s brother. “He was just a quiet guy, in his own little world who did what he wanted to do."
Folks who traveled up and down Pulaski Highway cherish the man they knew as “Pulaski Pete,” “The Walking Man,” and “That Guy."
“The stories I hear about people he was in contact with it was… I just can’t get a handle on it. All of the people that wanted to help him and he didn’t want it. People wanted to give him money. He didn’t want it,” Vingsen said.
The youngest of five, a lover of all things outdoors especially fishing and hunting, Stanley suffered from mental health issues, sometimes battling them alone…but never unnoticed.
“I’m hoping the share of love of everybody around here can maybe uplift this whole world so we can love each other a lot more than what we are now,” Wilson said.
His family established the Stanley Vingsen Memorial Fund to provide training and trauma informed-care to first responders dispatched to mental crisis emergencies.