I can remember being at shows at the Silverdome and always enjoying the show that Jesse would put on. I never had the oppurtunity to meet him but he seemed like a super guy and a real credit to the sport of Monster Trucks. May he rest in peace, PLAY'N FOR KEEPS FOREVER!!!
We were saddened to hear of the loss of Jesse, finding this out just now. Our thoughts and sympathy to his family, one of the nicest guys in the industry, we missed running with him recently and are sorry to hear this news. Rest in Peace, Big Guy!
Jesse will be greatly missed by many. I sat many nights and listened to the words of wisdom that this man would offer me. He was my larger than life friend and sometimes bodyguard (he told me he was good for keeping the boys away). I absorbed all of what this wise man had to tell me and maybe alot that he didn't think I heard.
Well after coming home from the firemans expo sunday I got A Phone Call From a real close Friend and he told Me that we lost aother pal and it was jesse Birgy......and after hearing that I was lost with words......Having Traveled Many Miles with bobby paul and Jesse and all the Beautful Memories..
like seating by the trailer eating hot dogs and geting ready for the show...sometimes we would end up going to the waffle house to get some thing to eat after the show too...WOW real lost now and Jesse thanks for the Beautiful Memories at the show and on the road too....What a Crowd Pleaser
He would always do something wild Like puting it on the tailgate and put it on its top if need to be.....always remember them times and always thinking about him..........He was one down to Earth guy and rare....
God Bless, Jesse - Keep the Monster Truck'n fun goin on up there with the big man!........Let God win once in awhile...........
Jesse Eugene Birgy, 49, of Beulah, died Sunday, May 18, 2008, at his home. He was born February 13, 1959, the son of James and Rena (Fultz) Birgy.
Jesse is survived by: his life partner of 32 years, Debra Donley of Beulah; their daughter, Ashley Birgy of Beulah; his parents, Jim and Rena Birgy of Newberry; his brother, Jeff Birgy of Marysvile; his nephews, Paul (Megan) Burmingham, Greg Burmingham, and Randy (Christina) Burmingham; their parents, Laura and Greg Burmingham; and many friends across the United States.
Jesse was a master mechanic who built and drove monster trucks for many years throughout the U.S. and Canada. He participated in many shows and races to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation, D.A.R.E, and other organizations for children whenever possible. Jesse was always first in line to offer help to anyone needing a hand.
Rest in peace Jesse, our beloved partner, father, son, uncle, and friend. You will always be remembered with all our love!
If you wish to celebrate Jesse’s life with the Birgy family, please join them at the Homestead Township Hall between 2 and 4 PM, Thursday, May 22, 2008.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ashley Birgy’s College Fund, Central State Bank, Beulah, Michigan 49617.
The Bennett-Barz Funeral Home, in Beulah, is in charge of arrangements.
My condolances to the Birgy family. I only met Jesse once at a show in Ohio. He was trying to get the truck ready and we were wandering through the pits(back in the old days) when we stopped to take a couple pictures,he cleared all the tools,jacks,junk etc. out of the way just for us to take a picture. Not many people would go to that effort just for a couple snapshots. Here is a couple from that show.
My condolences go out to the Birgy family and anyone who is affected by this sudden and tragic loss.
"The Mountain Man" .... "The Gentle Giant" ... "The Man Playin' For Keeps"
I, like many of you, grew up with monster trucks, and the names "Jesse Birgy" and "Playin' For Keeps" are synonomous with those years. We experienced the glory days of monster trucks and it was men like Birgy creating the memories and, in a way, deciding the course our lives would take.
I knew the truck, I knew the name, and finally, in 2001, got to come face-to-face with the man. I met Jesse in July of that year up at Rockford Speedway, and while I didn't know much else to say besides something along the lines of "I grew up watching you and am glad to finally see you run," he immediately wanted to know more. I talked about the first time I saw Playin' For Keeps live at the age of 4 in Chicago to kick off the 1989 season & many other moments I enjoyed on TV. I wanted to say as much as I could believing I may never cross paths with him again, but much to my surprise, I was wrong.
I had the pleasure of watching Birgy perform that September & also again in 2004 in Springfield, IL. That Springfield show was a complete dive minus one big, bright spot. Jesse and Playin' For Keeps. Not only was he completely dominant and made some newer, higher-tech trucks look completely foolish, I again had the rare chance to share a few stories with him before and during the show.
I originally regreting wasting my time to attend that show. But, those feelings were eliminated once I learned Birgy decided to retire. Today, those feelings are now of thankfulness. Perhaps that event had more of a reason to attend afterall.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I spoke to a team whom went to the funeral today and they said it was very well attended by friends, family, and many members of the monster truck community, past and present.
They also stated that Jesse's nephew (P4K Forever) printed off all of our comments and thoughts from this thread and had them on display for everyone to read.
I don't have the right words to express how I feel other than to say it is great to know we were all with them today, in a way, and that our feelings and thoughts could've brought someone very close to Jesse a little bit of happiness on this day.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anH8nDX_Ro8"]YouTube - Play'n For Keeps Freestyle - Saskatoon, SK Feb 18, 2006[/ame]
This is from the last event we did with Jessie. As always he was full of storys and running his stuff beyond it's limits just to show everyone he could keepup to the newer trucks. Always at 110% with Jessie. On favorite moment with Jessie was when him and Terry Woodcock decided to both do a van side by side together and Terry got greedy with the space and Jessie rolled off the side of the bus. It was pretty funny as Jessie just wanted the truck fliped over so he could keep going. He did'nt even want to get out. Just flip me over as is he said. nAway he went for more.