Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Coach Comes Home

In Pleasantville, he was "The Coach." In Saltaire 1954 to 1964 he was everyone's

Uncle Pete

From the White Plains Citizen Net Reporter comes the story:

October 18, 2008: The Coach comes home at last to Pleasantville forever next Saturday at 11 A.M., October 25 with burial at All Souls Cemetery in Pleasantville. He was a great guy who saw the greatness in everyone. That’s what great teachers do. All their children are their children. Coach was that way.

Ed. note: Readers of know we have talked a lot about Uncle Pete, and we will have a lot more to say after we collect our thoughts and yours. Please continue to pass along the letters that Patsy O'Shea and Jim O'Hare have been requesting to give to the family, and please post any thoughts you may have by clicking "comments" below.


1957 (Stillgebauer Archives)

click images to enlarge

In the meantime, here are the basics:

Kurachek, Peter William

"Coach" Died peacefully on October 12th, 2008 after 93 years of a life well-lived and characterized by thankfulness. Born on All Saints Day, 1915, Peter kept close to his heart those who predeceased him: his devoted wife, Louise; his dear son, Michael; parents, Peter and Katherine, and brothers, George and John. He is survived by his son, Peter (wife Mary); daughter, Mary (husband Terry Quiggins), and son, Stephen (wife Mary); grandchildren, Kathy Kurachek, Jennifer (husband Josh) Kenchel, Amy (husband Richard) Miller, Michael (wife Angela) Quiggins and Sarah (fiancé Ryan), Sam and Peter Kurachek; and great- grandchildren, Emma and Stella Kenchel and Carter and Kellen Quiggins. Peter was a proud graduate of the University of Kentucky where he received a Master's degree in education. He attended the U of K on a football scholarship, revered the opportunity of a college education, and belonged to the honorary education fraternity, Phi Kappa Delta. He enjoyed reminding us that college in his day cost fifty dollars a semester! During World War II Peter served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Corps readying young men for combat. For 32 years he was a successful teacher, high school football coach, and athletic director in Pleasantville, NY. He was a lifelong member of the New York State Teacher's Association and the American Football Coaches Association. Peter's teams reflected his life: well-prepared, disciplined and passionate. He loved the camaraderie of fellow coaches of all sports and the exuberance of his young players. He connected with them. He understood them and he understood his role as a teacher and the responsibility of helping boys on their trajectory to manhood. His teams won a lot of games and he was fond of saying, "Loses are owned by coaches, wins belong to the team." His players loved him as did their parents and years into retirement he would reflect, "Some of my best players never took the field. They were managers or substitutes. Young people who just wanted to be part of something larger than themselves." He received numerous coaching awards culminating in the "Distinguished American Award" bestowed upon him by the Westchester Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Peter and Louise retired to Florida, toured the country, and visited Europe. They helped many of the aged people around them and when his loving wife passed, he moved to Minnesota to be with family. In recent years, Peter found a spiritual home at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (IHM) in Minnetonka where he was befriended by many parishioners and especially Father Pat Hipwell and Sister Eleanor. For the brief time he was at Sunrise assisted living, he was embraced by many kind caregivers. Peter's smile, gentle heart, kindness and loyalty will be missed by all who knew him. A Mass of Christian Burial will occur on Friday, October 17th at 11 AM, preceded by visitation at 10 AM at IHM Catholic Church, 13505 Excelsior Blvd, Minnetonka. Peter will be laid to rest aside his wife Louise and son Michael at All Souls Cemetery in Pleasantville, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations to support extracurricular activities may be made to the Peter Kurachek Activities Fund, IHM School, 13505 Excelsior Blvd., Minnetonka MN 55345.

We can all supply some Saltaire color to the story along with our sympathies to Pete Jr., MaryLou, Steve, and all the grandchildren. Lets hear from you.


George Fontanals Jr.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I send sympathies to the family of Pete. I will always remember him as a fine coach and person. He was a great friend of my parents. I was his nemesis on the football field while playing for Chappaqua HS. He was always yelling at me from the sidelines as I ran past him....Just a good guy.