We regretfully inform our WSA family, and our extended soccer community, of the passing of WSA President, Mr. Ken Lovelee, on Sunday, January 25, 2015. Mr. Lovelee, a kind man, lived and served selflessly and honorably. May we each follow this example, honor this life, and remember this man and his family in a way that honors a life lived well.
Please join us in prayer for his family. Please read on to join this week in honoring Mr. Lovelee and growing his legacy...
IN LOVING MEMORY: MR KEN LOVELEE
I am writing this to regretfully inform you that Mr. Ken Lovelee, WSA President, Registrar, and Risk Management Coordinator, passed on, Sunday, January 25th, approximately 4:30 p.m., after a short bout with colon and liver cancer.
Mr. Lovelee grew ill three months ago, and a few weeks ago informed the WSA Board that he would need to resign his position at WSA Soccer, as doctors discovered the cancer, and he’d be undergoing treatments in the future. In the past two weeks it was discovered that the cancer had spread too far and too quickly.
Mr Ken Lovelee, best known by most of the tenured staff at WSA as “Mr. Lovelee”, has served as WSA president since 2005. In 2007 Mr Lovelee slowly began to take on the duties of registrar of WSA, and oversaw almost a decade of rapid growth in club registration at WSA Soccer.
Mr. Lovelee has been a faithful, committed, passionate, loyal servant for the families, kids, and coaches at WSA Soccer. His impact is both widespread, and profound. He has been the “caretaker” of the WSA family of coaches, helping each of us grow, mature, and develop as people. He has been the advocate on behalf of the children, behind the scenes setting up opportunity, protecting safety, and safeguarding interests of youth. He has been the wise counsel for our board, executive committees and officers, rendering perspective, insight, and intelligent direction.
Mr Lovelee’s favorite characterization of many of our young and “still learning” coaches as “knuckleheads” was his term of endearment for a group of people he loved, cared for, and believed in. His devotion to our coaching corps certainly inspired and elevated many of us who have been under his guidance for many years. Late in the Fall season as Mr. Lovelee concluded a conversation with me about a couple of our coaches who had made one of those “rookie” mistakes, he said “… they’re all (coaches) mostly really good… We have some really good people….. (pause and a loving chuckle) There’s still a couple of kuckleheads who I’d like to wring their necks every now and then though.” With a tone of happiness in his voice, Mr. Lovelee was proud of some of the people that had “become” under his leadership.
Mr. Lovelee in the soccer arena, was above all an advocate for kids. His perspective never wavered and his commitment to kids was always at center focus. Every decision, every action, always put kids at the front and the center. In the world of competitive youth sports, there can be many drives which might interfere with a strong commitment to serving the interest of children. In a very real way I cannot recall a single moment when this wavered with Mr. Lovelee. His conviction, his heart, and his purpose were all as pure as gold. Even his devout loyalty to WSA Soccer, would not waver his even stronger loyalty to his mission to serve the interest of children. Mr. Lovelee was in this sense the epitome of leadership.
Mr. Lovelee first joined the soccer world as a soccer parent to a son he loved dearly, Jacob, who began playing as a youngster at Sapulpa Soccer Club. Jacob became a team member of the WSA 92 boys in 2003-04. This team, coached by Ryan Bush, was also initially managed by Mrs Brenda Lovelee, the wife Mr Lovelee adored. Ryan, an expert at harvesting great administrative talent and servitude, eventually had the great services of Mr and Mrs Lovelee helping manage the infamous ’92 boys, which son Jacob played on. Mr Lovelee was known in these days to often refer to the 92 boys as “knuckleheads”, and on not so rare occasions, when Coach Ryan might irritate team manager, Mrs Lovelee, Ryan would get the term of endearment reference as well.
For over a decade Mr Lovelee helped manage, lead, protect, advise, defend, and motivate the “knuckleheads”, who never doubted his love. He did this with grace, in all humility, frequently eluding credit or the spotlight on himself. He was soft spoken, quick to move to the background, and seemed most content in using his shoulders to elevate the position and status of others. Many of our club members who have joined WSA recently may not have met Mr. Lovelee. Even so, this man, behind the scenes, has dramatically impacted your soccer experience. He worked on behalf of youth soccer for over a decade, and never received a penny for jobs, tasks, and duties laborious enough that they warrant full-time pay at most clubs of comparable size. He didn’t just volunteer, he gave. He didn’t just participate, he served.
His reach into Oklahoma soccer is long and wide. He’s been a tournament director, tournament scorekeeper, registrar, served on committees, risk management coordinator, in addition to his longest tenured positions as registrar and president of WSA Soccer and all the offspring duties that those positions create.
It goes without saying, Mr Lovelee, that you will be missed. Your life was impactful beyond measure. You’ll be missed first as father and husband. You will be missed by each of us in the soccer world for all the goodness, all the kindness, and all the uniquely patient and honest perspective you rendered. And for many of us you will be missed as mentor, wise counsel, and friend….
For those who would like to do something in honor of Mr. Lovelee, I’d encourage you to join with me this next week, in “doing something” without any expectation for a kind return, without any expectation for acknowledgement, in the purest intent that a giver can give – for the sake of giving, with the only purpose of the act in helping another. Mr. Lovelee served selflessly and honorably. He lived graciously and selflessly. He was kind, gentle, generous with his time, and happy with his devotion. To honor such a life, may we take that example, and create the legacy that his life deserves.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
West Side Alliance S.C.
SIDE BEFORE SELF. EVERY TIME.
Mr Lovelee at the 2014 tryouts talking over "paperwork"
with club director Barry Roberts. Mr Lovelee who didn't
like the camera couldn't escape this photograph we sneaked
while he wasn't paying attention.