Last week, Kennedy and its community suffered the loss of a very influential member in Kennedy’s history. Vernon Feuerhelm, Kennedy’s first choral director, passed away after battling with pneumonia.
Feuerhelm began his career at Kennedy at the opening of the school in 1967 through the school year of 1971. During his time at Kennedy, Feuerhelm brought around traditions and changes that are still influencing Kennedy today.
Feuerhelm will be remembered for many things, but one thing especially is the formation of the very first high school show choir west of the Mississippi River. Originally known as the “Happiness Machine”, the show choir set the standard for what high school show choirs would look like and sound like. These standards have helped local high school show choirs to become renowned nationally.
Another influential tradition that Feurerhelm will be remembered for is the writing of the famous Kennedy Alma Mater and Kennedy Fight song. Feurerhelm co-wrote both songs with his wife Pearl Feurerhelm. Both songs are still used and sung with pride by the Kennedy community today.
Feuerhelm will be remembered for both the contributions he made the school as well as his personality that touched many people.
The Kennedy community came together at last Friday’s football game in order to honor Feuerhelm and all he did for the school. Four members of Kennedy’s “Happiness Inc.” sung the Kennedy Alma Mater song as the stadium stood in remembrance of him.