LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The great Denny Crum passed away this week at the age of 86, leaving Louisville without an icon or legend. denny crum funeral service Crum meant so much to so many people in our town, not just as a gifted basketball coach who guided the Louisville Cardinals to unprecedented success but also as a significant community leader who touched many lives. The proper remembrance and celebration of this extraordinary man took place at his funeral ceremony on Monday.
There were hundreds of people at Southeast Christian Church who came to say goodbye, including me. I’ll admit that I started to cry a little when I saw the front of the chapel with its floral-adorned closed casket. Crum from denny crum lived a long and happy life, but it was difficult to believe that the Coach was truly dead.
There was a solemn yet upbeat vibe in the air as people slowly came in to locate their seats. Everybody had a Coach Crum tale or memory that had an impact on their life. I heard others talking about how they had met him when they were kids at one of his summer camps or how he had given them advice at a pivotal time. He was always ready to share his calming, laser-like focus to inspire others to perform at their highest level. In eloquent words from a former athlete, “He could make you feel like 10 feet tall.”
The event officially began at 2:00 PM. It was obvious from the start that this would be happier than sad. Speaker after speaker stood up, honoring Coach’s life rather than lamenting his passing. There were many stories about his sharp mind, his commitment to perfection, and his generosity to everyone. Jerry Jones, who was formerly his assistant, said, “I never worked for Denny Crum, I worked with Denny Crum.” That sense of unity and cooperation appeared to permeate every aspect of his approach to life.
Naturally, a lot of players talked about his incredible basketball acumen in denny crum funeral service and how he often managed to win by the slimmest of margins (who can forget that incredible play in the closing seconds to defeat Duke in the 1986 NCAA tournament?). However, the tales of him visiting a sick child in the hospital or attending a student’s graduation held greater significance. He just had everyone in mind. Crum responded to Jonathan Israel of the University of Louisiana by saying, “You got what you deserved today, so do better tomorrow.” Wise counsel for individuals in general and basketball players alike.
Crum’s dearest wife, Susan, was undoubtedly the most emotional of them, as she attended the event. In their more than two decades of marriage, Minister Bob Russell spoke of what a devoted and caring spouse Denny had been to her. His warmth and compassion were evident in their relationship.
Junior Bridgeman from denny crum funeral services might have said it best when the ceremony came to an end when he said, “His was a life not lived in vain.” That much was evident from the standing room only throng and the endless stories of how he moved people. Not only did he accumulate victories and trophies (which were certainly spectacular), but he also gave everyone he came into contact with a sense of champion status. His greatest contribution was that.
Pallbearers rolled out Crum’s casket respectfully to start the funeral procession to Cave Hill Cemetery, where he was laid to rest, following the last words. A modest, respectful farewell was held instead of a grand, showy farewell for a man who never wanted recognition for all that he had done for Louisville.
Even though the Coach is no longer with us, his legacy will undoubtedly endure. We ought to all make an effort to instill in our families and communities that same sense of excitement and selflessness. That would definitely bring a smile to his face from above. Denny Crum, a former Cardinal who will always be a Cardinal, rest in peace!
The Fond Farewell Continues: Celebrating Denny Crum’s Incredible Legacy
On Monday evening, following the poignant memorial ceremony held at Southeast Christian Church, in denny crum funeral service, it was time to say one last goodbye to the legendary Denny Crum. Hundreds more crowded the KFC Yum! Center, a magnificent venue that may never have been constructed if not for Crum’s contribution to Louisville basketball’s success. It was the ideal setting for continuing to honor his illustrious legacy.
Videos from many of Crums’ best teams and wins played on video boards as the fans moved into the lower bowl seats facing the empty court. Feelings of nostalgia surged when one saw those well-known pictures of players wearing tube socks and short shorts. The pictures clearly showed how powerful his Cardinals were for 30 incredible years, from his first Final Four team in 1972—led by superstars like Wes Unseld and Butch Beard—to his title winners in 1980 and 1986.
Shots of Crum fishing, his other hobby, were intercut with the basketball footage. An avid outdoorsman, he devoted many hours to his fishing, spending hours catching enormous bass or engaging in intense fights with sailfish and marlins. Expert fishers and coaches are said to share many traits, such as patience, resilience, and the ability to remain calm. Crum possessed all of those attributes in funeral service, both on the hardwood and in the water.
Adoring former teammates and lifelong friends kept telling stories that embodied Crum’s spirit as the 8 PM event got underway. His circles of good influence continued to expand, from winning resounding games against rival Kentucky to founding long-lasting outreach initiatives that brought Louisville’s kids together. The audience was reminded by the emcees that Crum should be remembered for making each and every person feel important, not only for his victories and honors.
And so the final buzzer sounds on the incredible career of Coach Denny Crum – a man who executed the game of life in denny crum funeral service as masterfully as he did the game of basketball. While the weeping eyes and heavy hearts at his funeral services showed how deeply he’ll be missed, the laughter and uplifting memories showed the sheer joy he brought to Louisville over these last five decades.
Also read about