Friday, April 26, 2013

In Memory of Terry Emerick

For many years, when I drove down Colorado Avenue past the former Brookside High School, I would notice a small sign mounted at the base of the announcement board in front of the school.

It read: In Memory of Terry Emerick

For years, I wondered who Terry Emerick was, and what had happened for his name to be posted on the sign. Although the spouse graduated from Brookside in the early 1980s, she didn't know, and no one else I asked did either.

I can't tell you how long I wondered about this – even after the sign was taken down.

Finally, last August I asked Brookside graduate and Sheffield-Sheffield Lake Board of Education member, Sandra Jensen. She suggested that I pose the question to Mark Cizl, a 1972 BHS grad who is currently a music teacher and video club director at Sheffield/Sheffield Lake Schools.

About a month after I contacted him, Mr. Cizl replied back with the answer. "Terry Emerick died in Canada in a swimming accident while [his] family was on vacation," he wrote. "He would have graduated around 1964, give or take a year or so."

With that information, I was finally able to find the sad mention of it in a 1964 copy of The Leader yearbook.

Terry Emerick
A whole page was devoted to Terry. Under the words "IN MEMORIAM" was a large photo of him. Beneath the photo was a simple sentiment:

"Terry Emerick, a member of the class of 1964, was a typical teenager, but he was also an individual with a warm personality that was all his own. Among his many activities were Basketball, Baseball, Freshman Football, Band, B-Club and Hi-Y."

Anyway, I was able to find the account of the tragedy in the Lorain Journal. It appeared on Monday, July 1, 1963.

Brookside Boy Drowns In Canada

What started as a vacation ended in tragedy Saturday when Terrell A. (Terry) Emerick, popular Brookside High School senior, drowned in Canada.

Terry and his family had traveled to Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, for their yearly vacation Friday. The accident occurred when Terry and a group of friends went swimming off the dock in Macey's Bay on Highway 501, five miles south of Honey Harbor.

Terry waded into the water to a depth of about five feet and started to call for help. A friend, Nick Schiau of Brooklyn, Ohio, grabbed Terry and went down with him three times before giving up. Other boys then attempted a rescue but failed.

Terry and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Emerick, 3096 E. River Rd., had gone to Canada for their vacation with five other families. His father stated that Terry knew how to swim and had been in the water earlier in the day with no trouble.

Terry was a senior at Brookside High School where he played varsity basketball. He was secretary of the varsity band and had played in the school band for four years. Terry was also a member of Hi-Y. During the summer Terry played and umpired Little League baseball.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Emerick; his grandmother, Mrs. Mary Emerick, Lorain; maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Vance, Sheffield; and an aunt and uncle Mr. and Mrs. George Oniga, Brooklyn, Ohio.

Friends may call after 7 p.m. at the John R. Dovin Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the funeral home, followed by a Mass at 9:30 a.m. at St. Teresa Church. Burial will be in Cavalry Cemetery.

Special thanks to Sandy Jensen and Mark Cizl for their help with this post.

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