Coach H.C. Story goes home to glory at 75

| June 21, 2016
In addition to being a renowned coach, H.C. Story leaves a legacy as a dedicated Civil Rights activist.

In addition to being a renowned coach, H.C. Story leaves a legacy as a dedicated Civil Rights activist.

FORT WAYNE—Coach H.C. Story, civil rights activist and youth advocate, 75, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

Born in Akron, Alabama where he excelled in many sports but discovered he was destined to do other work for a time. As an adult, while still in the south, Story joined the civil rights movement and worked tirelessly to register people to vote. He organized young people to march with Dr. Martin Luther King and was a Marshall, protecting Dr. King and T.Y. Rogers.

In 1966, he moved to Fort Wayne where he became very involved in working with and coaching young people, teaching them life lessons through various sports. He was particularly well-known for his work in Metro Youth Sports.

“He was an outstanding man, an outstanding coach and outstanding mentor to young athletes,” said Jim Winters, founder of Metro Youth Sports.

He said Story was a versatile coach, mentor and leader, working with young people from elementary school age to high school—and even adults, as the coach of the River City Rhinos, Fort Wayne’s Mid Continental League football team. In addition to football, Story was an accomplished baseball and basketball coach as well.

Winters said Story’s involvement with Metro went all the way back to the beginning of the acclaimed and revered youth sports program. At the time they met, Winters said Story was coaching baseball for a southeast side of the city.

“That’s when I first met him and we became great friends,” said Winters. “We started a football program.”

Story coached Metro’s first team—the Kiwanis Steelers from the Westfield neighborhood in the old Rolling Mill district.

“H.C. Story was the first coach,” said Winters.

Winters said Story was much more than a great coach.

“He was just a beautiful person. He always wanted to help you and to make things better for you and he was always there for the community,” said Winters.

While many know Story’s work as a youth advocate and coach in the Fort Wayne area, a lot of people were unaware of his deep involvement in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s in Alabama. In 2005, Rebecca Dorrill, a student in Professor William F. Hall’s Politics, Religion and Mass Social Protest Movements in American Democratic Society class at Washington University in St. Louis, wrote an extensive piece on Story that was later turned into a documentary, “Veteran of the Movement.” The work presents a detailed look at Story’s early life and his work in the Civil Rights Movement. Do rill’s paper later was turned into a film documentary, “Veteran of the Movement.” Dorrill’s complete paper on Story, can be found serialized in four parts begining with http://www.frostillustrated.com/2015/youve-just-got-to-pray-a-civil-rights-movement-veterans-story/.

Surviving are his wife of 23 years, Arlene K. Story of Fort Wayne; sons, Clyde (Monte) Williams of Birmingham, Ala., Keith (Miwako) Story of Indianapolis, Ind. and Brandon McKinney of Fort Wayne; daughter, Darice Story of Nashville, Tenn.; brother, W.C. Storry of Fort Wayne; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; cousin, Mary (Charles) Hatch of Fort Wayne; and many nieces and nephews who he loved. He was preceded in death by his parents; 14 brothers and sisters; and a grandson.

Service was Thursday, June 16, 2016, at Greater Progressive Baptist Church, 2215 John St., with burial at Concordia Cemetery Gardens, Fort Wayne. Memorials may be made to Visiting Nurse Hospice or Greater Progressive Baptist Church.

Arrangements were entrusted to Carmichael Funeral Service Inc.

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Category: Civil Rights, Community, History, Local, National, Sports

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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