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Mike Messier

Alumni Remembrance
Exeter/West Greenwich coach Mike Messier dies in crash
01:00 AM EST on Saturday, February 27, 2010

Journal Sports Writer
Mike Messier, head football and softball coach at Exeter-West Greenwich High School, died in a one-car accident on Mishnock Road in West Greenwich late Thursday evening. His truck crossed the center lane and struck a tree during heavy rain as he was headed home.
The Providence Journal / Bob Breidenbach
Mike Messier may not have been the most vocal high school football coach in Rhode Island, and he may not have had a four-star coaching resumé when he first became the Exeter-West Greenwich head football coach five years ago. But as I watched him coach the Scarlet Knights over the past few years it seemed he was the type of man you would want your son to be associated with.

In the grand scheme of life, that’s the ultimate tribute I could pay a high school coach.

“If you wanted your kid to learn about heart and determination, Mike was the guy,” said Jim Alves, Exeter-West Greenwich assistant principal and assistant football coach.
All of which makes Messier’s death in an auto accident Thursday night so tragic. The 55-year-old coach died instantly when his westbound car crossed the center lane on an unlit portion of Mishnock Hill Road in West Greenwich in heavy rain, left the road and struck some trees. It did not appear he was wearing a seat belt.
Messier was an electrician for the West Warwick school system, where, on Thursday, he had been working late. But he loved living and working with the people in the community of the Exeter-West Greenwich school district.
In addition to being the Scarlet Knights head football coach for the past five years, he also had been an assistant coach for several years before that. That means he had been associated with the Exeter-West Greenwich football program for about three-quarters of its 15-year existence in Rhode Island Interscholastic League competition.
He also had been the Scarlet Knights girls softball coach for well over a decade.
“I don’t think Mike had an article of clothing that didn’t have some type of Exeter-West Greenwich logo on it,” Alves continued. “He loved the school, and he loved working for and with the people in this community, especially the students.”
Exeter-West Greenwich is one of the newest public high schools in the state. It’s also a comparatively small high school from a school district that is a somewhat strange blend of an old-time farming community and modern, up-scale residential development.
All of which can make building a sports tradition a challenge, but that never bothered Messier. He did all the things necessary, whether it was leading a fundraising project to manually working on the condition of a playing field. It was all so Exeter-West Greenwich student/athletes would know their community cared about them.
“Mike would do whatever was necessary so the kids could play,” said Alves. “He never told a kid he or she couldn’t play. When we ran out of helmets one time, he went to another school and got a helmet so a kid could play. If we needed more uniforms, somehow he raised the money for them.”
And while he might not have had an extensive coaching pedigree when he first became head football coach, he knew how to put together a good coaching staff. He added Alves and his brother Steve Alves, both who had head coaching experience at other schools. In 2007, Exeter-West Greenwich earned the school’s first football Super Bowl berth, and the following year, the Scarlet Knights won their first football state championship with a victory in the Division IV Super Bowl.
Several members of that 2008 state championship team graduated the following spring, so nobody was really surprised when the Scarlet Knights only posted a 5-3 record during the regular season last fall.
I remember talking to Messier early in the season and he told how he was a little disappointed that after the championship season in 2008, they didn’t have more new players come out for the team. The 2009 roster actually had fewer players than the 2008 team.
“But we have a great group of great kids. We will be OK,” Messier said that day.
Indeed they were. After finishing fourth during the regular season, the Scarlet Knights came back and won another Division IV state title with two straight victories in the playoffs. They won the championship with a 14-point victory in the Super Bowl over a team that had defeated them by 27 points during the regular season.
“Last year was nice because that was our first one, but we were in first place most of the year, so we kind of expected to win. This one here, we came out of the ashes like the phoenix,” said a delighted Messier that night back in early December when the Scarlet Knights won the title.
It’s probably not surprising Messier’s work for his players didn’t stop with the final buzzer at the Super Bowl.
“He has been putting together the fundraisers so the players can have rings and other things to remember the championship,” said Alves. “He was always working for the kids. He was here the other day already working on the softball field. He was really looking forward to this year’s softball season.”
A school and a community have lost a special person.


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John Paul Orlowski

Alumni Remembrance


John Paul Orlowski, 61, passed away on November 10, 2009.  Born on April 14, 1948, he was the elder of two sons born to John and Lena Orlowski of Ansonia, CT.  After attending the local school system in Ansonia, John graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kennedy College in Nebraska.  He was a member of the Kennedy College Golf Team, which initiated his interest in, and ultimately led to his career in golf.  He was certified as a Class A Teaching Professional, and was granted a life-time membership into the Metropolitan NY PGA Section.  John began his golf career at the Alling Memorial Golf Course in New Haven, and later held an Assistant Pro position at the Yale University Golf Course.  While there he assisted in coaching the University Women’s Golf Team.  For the past 10 years, John was employed by the Westchester Country Club in Harrison, NY, where he resided.  He is survived by his brother, Gary, sister-in-law Lesley, niece, Lauren, and several cousins.  A Memorial Service celebrating his life is planned for Saturday, December 12, 11:00 am at the First Congregational Church, 44 South Cliff Street, Ansonia.  Memorial contribution may be made to the American Heart Association, 1 Union Street #301, Robbinsville, NJ 08691-4183.  The Bednar-Osiecki Funeral Home, 87 South Cliff Street, Ansonia, is in charge of the arrangements.

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Robert R. Gilliam

Alumni Remembrance
Robert R. Gilliam, 63, of Grand Island died Monday, June 22, 2009, at the Grand Island Veterans Home.
Burial of ashes will be in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery at noon on July 2, with military honors by the North Platte Veterans Honor Guard.  Chaplain Norval Holtmeier will officiate.
All Faiths Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Gilliam was born June 1, 1946, at Omaha to Ralph and Reva (Owens) Gilliam.
Survivors of the immediate family include a son and daughter-in-law, Sean and Sonya Gilliam of Lincoln, and two brothers and a sister-in-law, Ken (Butch) and Kristin Gilliam of Gonzales, Texas, and Bruce Gilliam of Lincoln.
He is also survived by a grandson, Connor Gilliam.
Robert was raised in Wahoo, where he graduated from high school.  He attended John F. Kennedy College in Wahoo.  He served in the United States Navy during Vietnam from 1966-1970.  He worked as a corrections officer for the Lancaster County Corrections Department in Lincoln.
Condolences may be sent to www.giallfaiths.com
From the Grand Island Independent
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Russell J. Johnson

Alumni Remembrance

Russell J. Johnson, 61, of Easton, Pa, formerly of Phillipsburg, NJ, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest Blvd., after a suffering a sudden inter-cranial hemorrhage on Sunday, April 13, 2008 at his home. Born: On October 29, 1946, in Phillipsburg, he was a son of the late Russell "Duke" and Elsie Ignatz Johnson. Personal: He and his beloved wife, Karen, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last July 3rd. Russell retired form Thomas & Betts Elastimold Division, Hackettstown, NJ, in July of 2007, where he had been a purchasing manager for nearly 20 years. Prior to that, he was purchasing manager at Knoll International, East Greenville, Pa. Russell served in Viet Nam from 1968-69 with the Army's 101st Airborne Division. He graduated from Phillipsburg High School, and Magna*censored*Laude from John F. Kennedy University in Wahoo, Nebraska. He had earned credits towards his Masters Degree in Business from Rider College. He was a friend of the Williams Center at Lafayette College and was a member of the Friends of the State Theatre. He loved reading, going to Phillies and Iron Pigs games, riding his bike, hiking, sitting by his pond, laughing with friends, listening to music, and sipping some wine. He was a trusted advisor on many topics to his friends and family and will be sadly missed. Survivors: In addition to his wife Karen, he is survived by a son, Christopher and his wife Michelle of Los Angeles; a granddaughter, Rya; sisters, Margaret Bruns and her husband John of Phillipsburg, Joan Shafer and her husband Garry of Stroudsburg, Pa, and Kay Lennon and her husband Jimmy of Easton, nieces and nephews, and their spouses and children. Services: The funeral service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Finegan Funeral Home, 302 Heckman Street, Phillipsburg. Calling hours will be held Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. in the funeral home. An additional calling hour will be held Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. in the funeral home. Interment will be private. Memorials: Contributions may be considered to ProJeCt of Easton, 320 Ferry Street, Easton, PA 18042; or Safe Harbor, 536 Bushkill Street, Easton, PA 18042.

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Julie Ann Terrones

Alumni Remembrance

Julie Ann Terrones went to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, November 25, 2007.

Julie was born on February 3, 1952 to Faustino and Sophia (Manriquez) Terrones. Julie graduated from Gilbert High School, where she was active in numerous activities. She was a proud member of Gilbert's 1970 State Girls' Basketball Team. She later graduated from John F. Kennedy College with a degree in elementary education. Julie was a pitcher on the Women's National Softball qualifying team. Julie has devoted the last 30 years of her life to educating and coaching many students across the United States. While teaching in Nebraska, Julie received the state's Teacher of the Year Award. Julie was a member of the Nebraska National Guard.


Julie was preceded in death by her father, Faustino, and her mother, Sophia. She leaves behind five brothers and two sisters: Robert (Connie) Terrones of Gilbert; Charles (Diane) Terrones of Cedar Rapids; Faustino II (Terry) Terrones of Centerville; Stephanie (Greg) Dowell of Canal Fulton, Ohio; Josie (Jim) DePue of Adel; Dan (Andrea) Terrones of Marshalltown; and Michael (Paula) Terrones of Adel. Julie will also be remembered by 20 nieces and nephews many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, all of whose lives are richer for knowing her. A celebration of Julie's life will be held at the Gilbert Lutheran Church on Thursday, November 29 at 1 p.m. The family will be greeting friends after the service.


In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to United Bank and Trust 2101 S. Center St. Marshalltown, IA. 50158.

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V. Paul Carney

Alumni Remembrance

V. Paul Carney 61, Lincoln, passed away Sunday (10/14/07). He was born to Vincent Paul Sr. & Marie (Keyes) Carney on June 6, 1946 in Evanston, Ill. Paul was a retired administrator from the Department of Health & Human Services Lincoln office. Paul was a past president of TKE at John F. Kennedy College in Wahoo, Nebraska State Government National Management Association, & Coddington Mill Home Owner's Association. Paul was an Admiral of the Great State of Nebraska Navy. Paul was a former City Rec Umpire & Midge Football Coach. He was also a member of Sheridan Lutheran Church. SURVIVORS: wife, Jeanette "Jan" (Bock) Carney, Lincoln; sons & daughter-in-law, V. Paul & Sally Carney, Lincoln; Andrew Carney, Lincoln; daughter & son-in-law, Jenny & Kevin Goodban, Lincoln; grandchildren, Riley, Cameron, Sean, Megan, Kelsey; children's mother, Pat Carney, Cozad; brother-in-law, Tom Gibbons, Alexandria, Va.; beloved dog, Clancy; numerous nieces, nephews, & friends. Preceded in death by: parents; sister, Marie Gibbons.

FUNERAL SERVICES 10 a.m. Wednesday (10/17/07) at Sheridan Lutheran Church, 6955 Old Cheney Road. Burial: Lincoln Memorial Park. Visitation: Tuesday (10/16/07) from 5-9 p.m. at the funeral home. Wednesday (10/17/07) one hour prior to services at church. Memorials: Sheridan Lutheran, 6955 Old Cheney Road, Lincoln, NE 68516; Capital Humane Society, 2320 Park Boulevard, Lincoln, NE 68502; Hearts United for Animals, Box 286, Auburn, NE 68305 www.hua.org; Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave, 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851 www.multiplemyeloma.org. (Lincoln Journal Star 10/15/2007)

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Patricia L. Stouffer

Alumni Remembrance

Patricia L. Stouffer passed into the arms of our Lord on May 20, 2007 after a year-long battle with cancer. Pat was born in Des Moines December 17, 1948 and lived in the area most of her life.
She will be sorely missed by her husband Tim of West Des Moines, her two sons, Teeg (Amy) of Council Bluffs and Ben (Sarah) of Stuart and grandchildren Laura & Levi and her sister Marilyn Keltner and niece Cary Waddell both of Stuart and the extended family, sisters-in-law Donna Stouffer and Pat Stouffer and many Aunts, Uncles and cousins.

Ashes will be scattered at a private memorial at a later date.

Pat's love for animals was demonstrated by her 30 plus year career as a dog groomer, owning her own business, The Grooming Gallery, for over 25 years. Pat also loved crafting and gardening and many happy hours were spent camping and fishing with her family. To the very end Pat never lost her wry sense of humor.

The family will greet relatives and friends for a celebration of Pat's life at the Stouffer home in Valley Junction on May 27, 2007 from 1-5p.m. Memorials can be made to Hospice of Central Iowa, www.hospiceofcentraliowa.org the Cancer Treatment Research Foundation, www.ctrf.org, or the Animal Rescue league of Iowa, www.arl-iowa.org.

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Stephen Gene Crane Sr.

Alumni Remembrance

Stephen Gene Crane Sr., age 60, of Lower Alloway Creek passed away at his home on Saturday, July 1, 2006. Born and raised in Salem, he was the son of the late Elmer Riley and Edith (Morgan) Crane.

Stephen graduated from J.F.K. College, Nebraska where he majored in Biology, and a minor in Fine Arts.

He was self-employed commercial fisherman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and trapping. His hobbies included cooking and art.


He is survived by his three sons; Stephen Jr., Joshua and Daniel Crane, a bother, William Benjamin Crane, several nieces, nephews, cousins, and his two former wives, Toni Crane and Laura Tice Crane.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 6, 2006 at 11 AM in H. T. Layton Funeral Home, 102 South Main Street, Woodstown, NJ. (Today's Sunbeam 7/3/2006)

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Dennis E. Weaver

Alumni Remembrance

Dennis E. Weaver, age 57, Waverly, died September 21, 2005. Born November 4, 1947 to William R. and Anna T. (Groenjes) Weaver in Lincoln, growing up in Ashland. Graduated John F. Kennedy College, Wahoo, B.S. Business Administration. Employed, Option III, Omaha, 18 years. Dad or Denny (to all who knew him well) was a beloved Husker fan whose greatest love other than his family and friends was Husker football. Ever the fanatical fan, he was rarely seen without a Husker shirt and cap. SURVIVORS: Wife: Susie; Daughter and son-in-law: Michele and Scott Walker, Chanhassen, MN; Son and daughter-in-law: Michael and Stephanie Weaver, Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Mother: Ann Weaver, Ashland; Mother-in-law: Mary Headrick, Lincoln.

FUNERAL SERVICES 9:00 am, Monday, Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 S. 14th Street. Visitation 3-9pm Sunday, with family 3-5pm. One hour before services at the funeral home. Memorials: University of Nebraska Athletic Department (Football Program), 117 South Stadium, P.O. Box 880154, Lincoln, NE 68588 or Waverly Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 427, Waverly, NE 68462 LINCOLN MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME 6800 S. 14th St, Lincoln, NE 402-423-1515

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Phyliss S. Cerv

Alumni Remembrance

Phyliss S. Cerv, 76 years, Lincoln, 8/27/05. Survived by husband, Robert H. Cerv, Sr.; children and spouses, Sithay Cerv, Sandy and Steve Harrington, all of Lincoln, Denise and Bob Mahoney, Exeter, NE, Karen Chambers, Centennial, CO, Robert Jr. and Mary Cerv, Alliance, NE, Joseph and Mary Cerv, Overland Park, KS, John and Maggie Cerv, Gladstone, MO, Phyllis Willis, Basehor, KS, Dawn and Todd Ericson, Hawarden, IA, Melissa and Randy Lock, Blair; 31 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters-in-law, Charles and Lelia Pelson, Cheyenne, WY, Wade and Nancy Pelton, Wimberly, TX, LaVerne Richardson, Fremont, Joyce Kucera, Columbus, NE, Bonnie Nelson, Belvedere, NE; several cousins and many nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial Tues., 10 am, St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church, Weston, NE. Visitation Mon. after 4 pm and Tues. 1 hour before Services at the Church. Rosary Mon. 7 pm at Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Weston, NE. In lieu of flowers, Memorials to the Church. SVOBODA FUNERAL HOME Wahoo, NE 402-443-3624

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