Mike Schuette Memorial

I missed Mike Shuette’s memorial service, but managed to make it by Capaha Park to see his stone and to capture city workers grading the infield. The memorial wasn’t where I thought it might be, so I asked a city worker for help. He led me right to it.

It’s sitting a little back from the field, but the guy said they are going to be making some changes to the facility, so they put it far enough back that they wouldn’t have to move it.. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Brad Brune’s tribute

Brad Brune posted this on the Class of 1966 Facebook fan page. I can’t improve on it.

Dear Friends of Mike Schuette,

 Mike’s Wake and the internment of his memorial stone went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful Summer day at historic Capaha Park, and there was an American Legion Baseball Game scheduled for later in the afternoon. Mike was in his now permanent celebrity seating with a great view of the field by game time. We couldn’t have planned it better.

 Though the weather was extremely HOT and HUMID as has been the norm this Spring and Summer here in the River City… attendees kept amply hydrated with soft and adult beverages supplied by your kind donations. Thanks again. Some fitting toasts and numerous old stories were offered and enjoyed by all. It was indeed a bitter-sweet occasion as you would guess, but I assure you the laughs and good feelings won out easily.

 We had hoped Mike’s beautiful flowering cherry tree would be planted by now, however the unseasonably hot and dry Spring prevented it. I will follow up some more photos this Fall when it is added.

Unique tribute stone

 With the cooperation of Liley Monument Company we were able to design and create a one of a kind tribute stone for Mike with two special corings in the bottom for most of Mike’s cremations. We had to get special permission from the Cape Girardeau Parks Department, and we appreciate their cooperation and understanding.

Every kid who slides into second…

However,we felt it unwise to advertise our intentions to also make Mike forever an meaningful part of the “Infield Soil” around his beloved 2nd Base. This feat was accomplished without notice fortunately, and the park grounds crew was none the wiser. Just a few old fat guys walking around the infield remembering their lost youth and fond days gone by.

[Editor’s note: y’all weren’t as unnoticed as you might have thought. When I mentioned that the guys grading the infield were shuffling one of my classmates, the park guy just smiled.]

 Randy Smith (Mike’s chosen “keeper of the Ashes”) and I then drove to St. Mary’s Memorial Park off Perryville road and to the site of the Schuette grave site. As was Mike’s desire some of his cremations were scattered on his parent’s graves. This will also be the location of his Veteran’s Memorial Plaque commemorating his service to his country and the US Army during the Vietnam War. His father, Lester, was also a proud veteran of WWII and his plaque is on the back side of the Schuette grave stone.

It was a great day all around and I feel some relief in a treasured task nearly completed. We are still waiting for Mike’s brick on the Memorial Wall at the VFW Post to be placed, and this October hopefully his flowering cherry tree will be planted next to his marker at Capaha. If there are any funds left after final accounting we will come up with another small but fitting gesture to make in brother Schuette’s honor.

 Thank you again to all who participated in this good venture, and if you have not donated for what ever reason, feel free to make a small donation to your favorite charity, or an organization dear to Mike, in his name.

Sincerely,

Brad.

Photos and mentions of Mike

Brad and some of his eagle-eyed brethren have spotted or mentioned their buddy Mike in some of the old stories:

Wyatt Perry Headed to Marines

I went over to John and Dee Perry’s house Saturday afternoon for a going-away party for their son, Wyatt. He’s leaving town Sunday morning to be shaped into a Marine. It’s been a dream of his for several years. John is Wife Lila’s brother.

Today was a sort of bookend day. December 29, 1993, I was itching to head back to West Palm Beach from Cape. It’s a long drive, particularly over a holiday, and I needed to get back to work. Dee, unfortunately for my schedule, was in labor with who was going to become Wyatt. Lila kept saying, “Let’s wait a little longer, let’s wait a little longer.” We stuck around long enough to welcome him into the world.

I was here to see him off to start a new life.

A family tradition of service

Left to right: Laurie Perry Everett, Drew Perry, Wyatt Perry, John F. Perry, Rocky Everett.

John Perry was Navy and served in Vietnam. Drew just finished up his enlistment in the Marines.

Laurie Perry Everett, joined the Army, where the diminutive blonde became a Military Police officer. She was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany, but she either visited or was deployed in France, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Israel, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland, among others.

One of her jobs was processing new troops, explaining the local customs and making them aware of what they needed to know. One soldier, Rocky Everett, commented to his buddy, “I’m going to date that girl one day.”

Rocky and Laurie were married in Cape on a cold October night in 2003. They have one son, Fletcher, AKA Flea. She’s the owner of the highly-regarded Annie Laurie’s Antiques on Broadway. (Follow the link to see her as an MP.)

Marines rebuilt Drew

I saw someone at the party who looked familiar, so I went over and said, “I’m Ken.” The good-lucking guy who took my hand said, “I know. I’m Drew.”

You could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather. Gone was the skinny, goofy kid I saw head off to the Marines a few years back. In his place was a solid, self-assured, mature man who seems to have his head screwed on straight.

I wonder if there will be a similar transformation with Wyatt, pictured at this link fishing in Florida with his dad on Father’s Day 2009. John and Dee are the ones who are going to have the toughest transition. It’s going to be awfully quiet with Wyatt gone.

Photo gallery of the going-away party

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. Thanks to the extended Perry family for its service. You’ve done more than your share.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.