The passing of Major Michel Stearley, on Oct. 1, was a loss felt by the entire community. Plans to honor him at the new ballpark being constructed are underway, and fundraising efforts have began.
“The reason we want to honor him is because he was involved in everything,” Madison County Commissioner Larry Kemp said. “He was big in the Patriot Guard. He was big in the VFW. He was the JROTC instructor for years. He drove buses for a while. He was involved with Madison County Retired School Personnel.”
Kemp said, because of Stearley’s involvement in so many areas of the community, he touched more lives than anyone ever realized.
“He embodied the community, and he was always for the kids,” Kemp said. “That is why we would like to honor him by putting a flag at the new ballpark.”
Kemp said there would be a plaque on the dugout of the baseball field with the flag and pole placed out in the outfield.
“The ballpark is for the kids and the kids were what meant the most to Stearley, so what better place to honor him,” Kemp said. “He was a very patriotic person and was retired military so we decided a flag would be perfect for him.”
Kemp said this is just a small way to show the Stearley family how much the community loved and appreciated all he did for them.
“He never had a negative thing to say about any of the kids,” Kemp said. “It was always positive. He would drive the tennis girls to their matches and even though they weren’t very good then, he would always say ‘they are improving, they are working hard.’ He always built them up and celebrated their improvements regardless of if they brought home a win.”
Funds are being raise to purchase and install the flag, pole and plaque. Donations can be made to Madison County Progress, a 501C3, through New Era Bank or can be given to Larry Kemp or Kent Marler.
For more information contact Larry Kemp at 573-944-4122 or Kent Marler at 573-783-3336.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at email@example.com