Matthew Ray McKelvey
Matthew Ray McKelvey, 30, of Fairfield went to his heavenly
home Sunday, July 29, 2001. He passed away at Baylor Medical Center
Services were 11 a.m. today at First Baptist Church in
Corsicana with the Rev. B.F. Risinger officiating. Graveside
services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at New Rosemont Cemetery in
Benton, Ark. with Wayne Doughit officiating.
Pallbearers were Eddy Ross, Jerry Ashcraft, Chuck Burns, Paul
Cottar, Joseph Tomlinson, Charlie Carrigan, Jerry Goldner and Mike
Rene. Honorary pallbearers were the Corsicana Special Olympics team.
Mr. McKelvey was born April 6, 1971 in Little Rock, Ark. He
attended schools in Benton, Ark. and graduated in Fairfield. He was
a member of First Baptist Church of Corsicana, Special Ministries
Sunday school class and Special Ministries choir. He was a Special
Olympian, and was selected as Athlete of the Year for Area 12 in
Texas. He represented Texas in the Inaugural National Invitations
Golf Tournament in Tennessee in 2000. He was employed at Mary Dunlap
Training Center in Teague.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Ervin Ray Massey
and Clyde F. and Ruth Ann McKelvey, all of Benton, Ark.
Mr. McKelvey is survived by his parents, Clyde E. and Peggy C.
(Massey) McKelvey of Fairfield; grandmother, Earline Massey of
Fairfield; and brother and sister-in-law, Bradley E. and Shanna (Wilsford)
McKelvey of Longview.
Memorials may be made to the Special Ministries Department of
First Baptist Church, 510 W. Collin St., Corsicana, Texas 75110.
Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home of Fairfield.
youth receives Special Olympics athlete of the year award
By BARBARA FORMAN/Daily Sun Staff
With a love for life and an exceptional attitude, Matthew
(Matt) McKelvey left a legacy of goodness and proved he was a
special person because of his genuine consideration for others.
For over 13 years Matt was involved in Special Olympics Texas
where he competed in athletics, bowling, volleyball and golf. This
year he was honored as the Grady Ramey 2001 recipient for the Male
Athlete of the Year in Area 12. The area included Fort Hood, Waco,
Temple, Killeen, Corsicana and other areas.
This year the September conference was held in San Antonio.
Sadly Matt was not able to accept the honor due to an illness from
which he passed away from on July 29.
One of Matt's favorite accomplishments was in October 2000
when he was selected to represent Texas in the Inaugural
Innovational Golf Tournament in Tennessee. He competed with Special
Olympic golfers from all over the nation and placed fourth in the
He was also chosen in 2001 to compete again in the
Professional Golf Association but could not attend because of his
When he was given the special honor this year his mother and
father Peggy and Clyde accepted the award on his behalf.
While in Special Olympics teammates and coaches described him
as a kind individual who always gave 110 percent.
"A lot of people would have gotten down in his situation,
but he was always up and kept a good attitude," said Jerry
Ashcraft, friend and Matt's Sunday school teacher at First Baptist.
When Matt competed he put his heart into it. He had won
numerous gold medals in track, field events, bowling and golf. He
went to Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Waco and Corsicana.
In an excerpt from a letter sent to Special Olympics Texas by
his parents they said, "Matt loved the competition that Special
Olympics offered, but more than that he loved the opportunity to be
part of a team."
They said the interaction between the athletes, coaches and
volunteers gave him a feeling of being a part of something special.
He could accept winning with a sincere sense of gratitude and
humility, but he also accepted not winning with dignity and could be
happy for the winner.
The McKelveys stated that by some measures Matt was not a fast
runner, but he was there trying and he ran as fast as he could.
Some may not have considered him a great bowler, but he tried.
The same could be said for his golf game but in each thing he tried,
he did it with enthusiasm and had fun.
Pam Burns, of First Baptist Special Ministries, said Matt made
"He loved the pretty girls and always found them along
the way to talk to," she said. "He was jolly and
Even though faced with adverse circumstances Matt never gave
up. Even when he battled cancer he did it with his usual good
"He was a fighter until the very end," Ashcraft
said. "I was touched by his life."
Many spoke of Matt with affection and considered him to be a
buddy and friend.
"He never walked up to anybody without reaching his hand
out to shake hands with people," Burns said.
Burns said she was pleased that Matt had accepted Christ and
made a profession of his faith. He was also baptized before he
His parents said Matt had his gold medals for winning in the
Special Olympics and he cherished them, but the real gold was in his
Barbara Forman may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]
FOR THE GOLD: Late Olympian McKelvey has award named in his honor
By BARBARA FORMAN/Daily Sun Staff
All anyone had to do was look at the faces of those
participating or volunteering in the Corsicana Special Olympics and
it became obvious you were in the right place.
Saturday Tiger Field came alive as five torchbearers took
their places to start the David Hale Special Olympics track meet.
As the torchbearers led the way, fellow Olympians followed.
Passing by the crowd some waved their hands, others held their caps
high in the air. All were smiling and had a sense of pride and
determination about them.
Whether they rolled in wheelchairs, walked or leaned on
someone for assistance the goal was the same. They were there to
finish the race.
It was day for celebration and remembering.
This year a special presentation in honor of Matt McKelvey was
given. He was a fellow Olympian and died last year after battling
Matt was selected as the Area 12 Male Athlete Of The Year in
March 2001. He had competed with other candidates all over Texas.
"Winning for the whole state of Texas was a big
deal," his mother Peggy said. "Special Olympics meant so
much to Matt because it gave him an opportunity to meet friends. He
was a happy-go-lucky guy. He came out here to really have fun and he
In addition to the fun, Peggy said her son was given the
opportunity to show what he was made of.
"He wasn't the fastest runner, but he got to show what he
could do," she said.
The Matt McKelvey Spirit Award was given to Lonnie Garcia for
this year's event. Peggy said Matt and Lonnie had been "good
friends, the best of friends" for a long time.
As Garcia accepted his award the McKelveys were nearby to
congratulate and hug him. Together they shared tears of joy and
remembered their son and friend.
Once the races began the cheers and support from several
different volunteers could be heard around the field.
Soon as the Special Olympians began to get close to the finish
line, Mac McKelvey, Matt's father, walked around a table where the
medals to be awarded laid.
With tears rolling down his cheeks, he looked down at the
medals and taking a deep breath he walked over and asked,
"Could I help hand out the awards?"
It was a true example of all the love, concern and support for
others that makes Special Olympics what it is. Many were there to
assist wherever they could even though they didn't have a family
member in the competition.
Jason White, tennis coach for Corsicana High School, was there
to start the races for the day of events. Dr. David Hale, who was
master of ceremonies, was in true form with his light-hearted humor
and genuine compassion for the competitors.
"If the Special Olympics doesn't stir your heart, you
don't have a heart," Hale said.
Before the competition began volunteers and parents could be
heard sharing stories of last year's event and proud of
accomplishments that had been made since.
The Special Olympics is more than competition, it is a family
that supports each other in every capacity. All that is required is
the desire to help and a sense of compassion.
The faces and comments of several CHS students who helped
during the day said it all. It was evident they had discovered what
real determination and giving to others was all about in a unique
way. Some had volunteered in previous years, others were awed by
their first experience of working with Special Olympics and
receiving so much in return.
Because of special presence that the Matt McKelvey Award gave
and the winning-spirit of continuing team members, it was a day to
Barbara Forman may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]
Special Olympian McKelvey honored in Arlington
From Staff Reports
ARLINGTON -- Special Olympics Texas
athletes from Corsicana paid a special tribute to one of their
teammates at the Summer Games Opening Ceremonies Friday night in
Arlington. Clad in yellow, black and white shirts, the team's
athletes and coaches remembered Matthew McKelvey by sporting his
picture on their left sleeves. Matt died of cancer in July 2001.
Throughout his 15-year involvement with
Special Olympics Texas, McKelvey became known for his trademark
kindness, commitment to quality and tremendous energy -- for those
reasons and many more Matt was recognized posthumously as the Grady
Ramey Male Athlete of the Year and the Heart of Texas Athlete of the
Year in 2001. His parents, Clyde and Peggy McKelvey, accepted his
Athlete of the Year award last September in San Antonio.
"Matt was a true Special
Olympian," said Corsicana coach Kay Andrews. "He had such
a sweet spirit. His experiences with Special Olympics meant so much
to him -- he loved meeting new people and making new friends."
As a testament to the friendships McKelvey
cherished, the Corsicana team visited him at Baylor Hospital in
Dallas after last year's Summer Games. David Zinc, McKelvey's
teammate, brought Matt a medal from Summer Games, hoping it would
help him feel better.
"Matt loved Special Olympics,"
said McKelvey's mother Peggy McKelvey. "He would be so happy
that everyone is here today because he was here to have fun. We came
back this year because we missed the hugs. You have to be a parent
of one of these athletes to understand what it means to miss the
McKelvey was too ill to stay at competition
last year in Killeen. He was sad to go home, but his mood was lifted
when he met cheerleaders from the Denver Broncos at a roadside IHOP.
Known for his charm with the ladies, McKelvey scored autographed
pictures of the cheerleaders and proceeded home with the usual smile
on his face.
"Matt was my spirit," said coach
Eddie Ross. "He had such a big heart."
McKelvey's skills on the golf course were
very good -- he and his father represented Special Olympics Texas at
the 2000 National Golf Tournament in Tennessee. He enjoyed bowling,
track and field, and he embraced and embodied the spirit of Special
Special Olympics Texas is a privately
funded non-profit organization providing year-round sports training
and athletic competition to over 27,000 children and adults with
mental retardation in the Lone Star State. Through Special Olympics,
greatness can be achieved far beyond the field of competition, as
participation enhances self-esteem, promotes independence,
strengthens families and facilitates social competence, while
Special Olympics was founded in 1968 by
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with mental
retardation continuing opportunities to develop fitness, demonstrate
courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of
gifts and friendship with their families and community.
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