Walking into the main performance hall, a kind of stillness sets in. People in suits, dresses and other Sunday-best attire mill around, trying to find an open seat. Almost every seat is filled with students, family and community members. Friends and family reconnect and embrace each other on this somber day to not only remember a well-loved brother, cousin, husband, father, coach, teacher, leader and friend, but also to support his family.
Former head-football coach Daniel Maberry was said to have touched many lives, and this statement was only re-enforced through the community’s involvement seen over the past two years – even more so the past few weeks.
To remember Maberry’s life and support his family, the Mansfield community has come together – and continues to come together – through various events and fundraisers, such as a car raffle with profits put toward paying off the Maberry family’s mortgage.
“It means everything to me to see so many supporting Coach Maberry’s family and MHS,” Academic Associate Principal Ashley Alloway said. “We are so lucky at MHS to have a community that is always there to support us when we need them. We had businesses, churches and other organizations dropping off food, drinks, flowers and condolences in the days after Coach passed away.”
The day of the memorial, more than 80 teachers, secretaries and administrators from other MISD campuses volunteered at the school to allow over 100 Mansfield staff members to attend.
“We couldn’t have attended without the help of our colleagues,” Alloway said. “They helped us when we needed it the most and we will return in favor if it is ever needed.”
Teacher and coach Scott Holmes said it is no surprise how much support Maberry and his family received from the community.
“The community support tells you the impact he had on everyone,” Holmes said. “I don’t think he really understood his impact. He wouldn’t want all the attention, that just wasn’t him, but I like the fact that the community is recognizing the amount of time he put into the community and the community’s kids.”
Holmes and Maberry met almost 22 years ago as first-year teachers and coaches at Worley, becoming instant friends.
“I was in his wedding, he was there for the birth of my kids and I was for the birth of his kids,” Holmes said. “Point being, Coach Maberry went out of his way to be a great friend.”
The phrases ‘Maberry Strong’ and ‘Love Like Maberry’ can be seen all over the community on shirts, signs and fundraisers.
‘’’Maberry Strong’ means you can work through any situation with grit and determination, while maintaining a ‘never give up” attitude,’” Alloway said. “’Love Like Maberry’ is simply loving big, with unconditional love.”
Students, faculty and community members continue to remember Maberry’s life in high regard and try to find any way they can show their love and support.
“Maberry Strong should mean it’s important to be the best person you can be and support everyone; Coach Maberry was there for everyone at all times,” Holmes said. “But what Daniel (Maberry) would really want is that you take his way of life and apply it to your life. He was a man of strong faith and I think everyone, including me, needs to find some faith.”
To help, community members can go to www.maberrystrong.com to purchase a raffle ticket or donate.