Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Wrecked cycle, six-foot cross warn mourners



By Janice Morse
Enquirer staff writer

[photo]
Friend Jacob Kaehler (left) wipes tears as Terry Strunk Sr. signs a cross Kaehler made before visitation Tuesday for Terry Strunk Jr., 19, killed in a motorcyle accident Friday. Cathy Strunk (right) wanted her son's battered cycle displayed as a warning to other teens.
The Enquirer/GLENN HARTONG
ROSS TOWNSHIP - Mourners for Terry Strunk Jr. filed past a wrecked green Kawasaki with a 6-foot-tall white cross as a backdrop - a visual reminder of what can happen because of risky driving.

"Terry was my best friend. We made this cross for him. It's the best we could do in two days," said Jacob Koehler, wiping away tears.

He was among more than 300 people who came to the Charles C. Young Funeral Home to pay respects to Strunk, 19, of Okeana, who died in a crash Friday in western Hamilton County.

Strunk's mother, Cathy, said she hopes the sight of the wrecked cycle drives home a lesson: "I want other teens to see that there are consequences for the decisions that they make. This time the consequence of the decision by Terry is one we will have to endure for the rest of our lives."

Funeral director Gayla Young said she thinks this was the first time that a crashed vehicle was part of a visitation. Young said she overheard many positive comments from mourners.

"They talk mainly about how brave Cathy is to try to make a statement to other kids in the community about what can happen."

Glenn Hartong contributed to this report. E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com




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