Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kevin McCrory recently passed away. He championed

   You may not have had the pleasure of knowing Kevin McCrory from Fostoria. He was just 54 when he recently passed away from a variety of illnesses.
   I first met him while serving on the board of Outdoors Forever, a group dedicated to see that the outdoors was accessible for everyone.
   Back in the day as they say, we used to host an annual salmon fishing trip out of Oscoda. Charter boat captains donated their boats and time to take a disabled person out on Lake Huron to discover what it was like to hook and catch a salmon.
   Most were successful, fighting fish from their wheelchairs. Those with other disabilities  had help from able bodied people on board.
   Wurtsmith Air Force base, still functioning at the time, would send over some troops to help load people and wheelchairs from the dock into a boat. Eventually a hoist was built and installed that would lift people in chairs, then swing out and lower them into the back of a charter boat.
   Following dinner one night, several people wheeled in a portable piano. Kevin got up and began to play. His wife, Jacquita started singing. The two made a great combination. Kevin was great on the ivory and Jacquita was not only attractive but she had a beautiful voice.
   The thing I remember most about that night was the way Kevin played. He was striking the keys with the side of his hands.
   Later when I met him he explained that he had club hands and feet. "You should come to my house and we'll go ice fishing this winter," he said.
   With all of the physical problems Kevin had, he never quit trying to do the things other people were doing.
   He fashioned a kind of glove to play catch with his kids. He built his own ice auger and powered it with a car battery. He was always up for trying most anything.
   He never liked the limelight. Instead he preferred being in the background and letting others get the credit for accessible trails and fishing docks he had spearheaded.
   Kevin was the most gentle, friendly, talented and fun loving person you could ever meet. He'll be missed by all of his family and friends.

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