Plains came together Sunday to honor Kenny Marjerrison one last time and support his family as they prepare to move on without him by their side.
The Plains High School gymnasium was packed to the rafters with people coming from all over to say their final farewells to a husband, father, son, brother, friend and coach.
Kenny Marjerrison, 34, died in a car wreck on U.S. 93 outside of Arlee last week. Marjerrison was the information technology director and head coach of the Plains/Hot Springs High School Savage Horsemen wrestling team. He left behind a wife and two young children as well as an extended community that knew no bounds.
The streets surrounding the local High School were packed full of cars as friends and family moved toward the proceedings to honor a man that touched many lives in his life.
Family and friends spoke of a man who they say embodied the words of being humble and kind to all that met him.
The echoes of Tim McGraw’s song filled the gym as members of the community sat in silence ready to say their goodbyes and continue the support toward his family.
Members of the Montana wrestling community also attended, with coaches from around the state making their way to the funeral.
Coaches from Arlee and St. Ignatius as well as the Superior superintendent and former head coach of the Plains/Hot Springs wrestling team Scott Kenny, were just some that stood up to tell stories of a man that they say would always remember and continue his legacy in a sport that meant the world to him, but was only one defining factor of the person he was.
One such speaker spoke of his competitiveness that came when the whistle blew and the match began on the mat.
“He was competitive and liked to win, but what stood out was that he left it all on the mat. Once it was done, he was happy to show me the moves that made his team successful; we still use that move today and it’s made us a better team,” said the St. Ignatius head coach.
Rocky Wagoner, one of Marjerrison’s childhood friends, spoke of their times near Swamp Creek where they grew up. Remembering a kid that was full of life and times where he would take one of his sister’s cars because he wasn’t a fan of riding a push bike.
Three of his best childhood friends also spoke of how Marjerrison was more than just a friend — he was family. They said his wife’s family were also pivotal parts of Marjerrison’s life and they became family as well.
Stories continued about Marjerrison: a state champion wrestler, a second-generation graduate of Plains High School, a blonde-haired dynamite that people couldn’t help but get to know.
Though his story was spoken by loved ones, his family along with all those attended laughed and cried as they remembered a vibrant spirit who touched so many in his short years.
Set up in the hallway just outside the gym was numerous memorabilia of Marjerrison. Photographs of Marjerrison from childhood to recent showcased a life full of love and adventure with his family and friends. Also displayed were tables full of his sporting achievements as an athlete and as a coach.
A few final words were spoken at the ceremony:
“Kenny had little time to spend, and all of it he invested in people. Energy, money and love, all were given generously with no expectation of return. He was a man of principle, a masculine man, and as hardworking as any man there ever was. A loving son, brother, husband, father, friend and mentor, his presence filled the hearts of those around him as much as his booming voice in a gymnasium. He devoted his life to his family, friends, and the sport of wrestling. He worked tirelessly to keep the unfunded school sport alive in the towns of Plains and Hot Springs. Many cold, damp nights he spent hunched over in the back of a semi atop a stack of fir boughs, or crouched next to a fire selling Christmas trees on main street. He grew a family through the sport, and no more generous love nor warmer embrace was ever given as was by coach Marjerrison.”