Former Elsberry Indians Manager honored; Curtis Kerr remembered through tears of joy
Elsberry Indians Basketball Coach and Activities Director Ryan Parker (shown left) helped honor the late Curtis Kerr by giving his parents a plaque, which will be hung at school for all too see. Also shown is former Indians player Greg Pflasterer, second from left, Curtis and Marsleen Kerr, Kevin Hill - also former Indians Player and Bryan Keim, assistant coach for the varsity Indians.
It is said that a person never truly knows their place in this world until they are taken from it.
On Tuesday, Jan. 15 Curtis and Marsleen Kerr, learned their sons place as they were honored with a plaque by the Elsberry R-II School District for his skills, not only as a manager for the Elsberry Indians Basketball team, but his ability to touch the hearts of thousands who try and obtain the ‘Curtis Kerr Award,’ an award to not only remember the late Curtis Kerr, Jr. but to also recognize those students who may not make the winning shot but rather dedicate their time from the sideline.
According to Marsleen, Shane Matzen, head coach for the Elsberry Indians in the early 90′s, was in desperate need of someone to help keep track of the teams numbers, as he was new to the community.
“Our son stepped right in and gave all he had to doing just that – managing the team,” said Curtis, Sr. “Matzen was really impressed at everything Curtis brought to the plate and how well he did his job.”
Curtis, Sr. went on to say how Matzen said their son did the best job of managing the team he had ever seen, to a point where, when Curtis passed away, Matzen wanted to make sure his name would live on. In 2009, the first ever Curtis Kerr Memorial Award was presented to David “Chubbs” Stillman.
“The point of this award is to help recognize those students who’s duties may otherwise go unnoticed,” explained Curtis, Sr. “And it means more to us than I think anyone would ever know. Having our son live through the hard work and dedication of others is just an absolute blessing.”
Marsleen said when Matzen first decided to do this she was completely overwhelmed and cried, which she said should have been expected. She went on to explain how Curtis, Jr., while alive never really felt as though he was liked in school, due to his size and got picked on a lot. However, when the announcement came through that he had passed away, the school’s reaction would tell a different story.
“Even at his funeral it seemed like everyone showed up,” said Marsleen. “I just couldn’t believe it and then for Matzen to do what he did was just a great honor and it meant so much.”
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