Simply put, Gabe Namuth was well-known in a town with a roughly a 1,000 residents.
“He was just a kid you liked to be around,” says Don Johnson, superintendent of Fort Calhoun Community Schools.
In a school district with around 300 students, Johnson says he knew Namuth very well.
“Gabe was an outstanding young man. He was a scrapper, a go-getter. Kind of small in stature but you would have never known by the way he handled himself,” he says.
However, the community was rocked yesterday afternoon.
According to the school leader, Namuth was running when he collapsed during track practice. The students were returning to the track field at Fort Calhoun Junior-Senior High School from a nearby park. One of the track coaches, who followed the team while inside her vehicle, jumped into action to provide emergency treatment.
“She couldn't have handled it any better,” Johnson says. “For a young lady to jump out and take care of business like she did was amazing. She did everything she could.
Within minutes, Johnson says first responders arrived on scene and took Namath to CHI Health Immanuel Medical Center, where he later died on arrival.
School activities were canceled yesterday as staff and students try to make sense of what happened.
Today, the superintendent says the teachers and faculty are “troopers” for trying to provide normalcy for the students.
Johnson says the entire school and community are struggling with Namuth’s sudden death, but he knows a thing or two about Fort Calhoun.
“Small communities just surround their people,” he says. “Neighboring schools just surround their people, you know.”
An online fund has been set up to help the Namuth family with expenses. https://www.youcaring.com/namuth-family-557556#.VxZ0OPkNwNB.mailto
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