PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Neighbors in Phoenix are coming together to remember a grandpa who brightened up people's day by holding up a sign telling people, "Jesus Loves You." Flowers were placed where Charley Bedel used to sit and hold his sign. His chair now sits empty as his sign has been replaced with one that says, "Charley is with Jesus."
"He was just my best friend and he was just an incredible grandpa," said Ruby Byrd, Bedel's granddaughter. "To have that relationship was just the most beautiful thing."
Bedel was blind and couldn't hear that well but that didn't stop him from counting the honks as he held up his sign. The 98-year-old brought smiles to countless drivers in the neighborhood and was known as the "Neighborhood Grandpa."
"The way he just loved unconditionally... He was a blessing even though he couldn't hear very well and he couldn't see it made such a big difference to him to cheer people up," said Byrd.
Byrd said a while back, Bedel hurt his hip and instead of putting him in hospice, his family took him home. He died on Thursday. Along with the small memorial, neighbors signed a book to show how much Bedel meant to them on Saturday.
"He's going to be missed very much in this neighborhood," said one man. "To see the numbers, over 400 people have reached out to me. I'm just blown away by what an incredible man he was," said Byrd.