Kurt H. Pasler Jr., Age 78, passed away at home on January 19, 2022 after a long battle with cancer. He grew up in Great Neck, NY and lived on Long Island for over 60 years.
He taught high school business at Sachem Central School District on Long Island. Kurt enjoyed his calling in life as a coach—inspiring and encouraging young people in cross country and track. Kurt Pasler was the Cross Country and Track Coaches Association Secretary and Treasurer for many years. He was also a meet director and statistician for the association. Recently, he was inducted into the Suffolk Coaches Hall of Fame on Long Island.
Kurt is survived by his wife Karen; his two daughters Susan McKnabb and Amy Styer; a son-in-law Dan Styer; grandchildren Lori McKnabb and Carl, Charlotte and Oliver Kurt Styer.
The family will have a Funeral Mass on Saturday, February 12th, 2022 at 11am. It will be held at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church on County Road 462 in Wildwood, FL 34785.
I had the pleasure of being part of the Shoreham-Wading River Track and XC teams from 1977 until 1980. Coach P was a tremendously successful coach - winning county titles in XC and multiple league and conference titles in XC and Track. His success was not just a function of having terrific athletes. He brought out the best in every team member with ahead-of-his-time workout regiments and by challenging everyone to reach their fullest potential. His commitment to the most experienced and most novice runners was equal.
However, Coach P's legacy extends far beyond the practices and meets. He was an extraordinary gentleman both on the track and away from it. KP never had a bad word to say. He would demand the same of his team members, asking they take the high road in life and to not cut corners.
His teams were full of camaraderie, and he would participate in after-practice touch football games after a tough practice. He would host barbeques at his home where we got to meet his lovely wife. Even 40 years after having run for Coach P, many of us from Shoreham-Wading River XC and Track still get together and talk frequently about those days.
I'll end with some fun specifics of those days. We once had 25 inches of snow on Long Island right before the start of spring track - so the track was unusable. #1 Coach called us all and said "no practice today...." (big exhale from the runners)....come to the track we are going to shovel it off." #2 When he went to Sachem he took us to his new XC course. It was always KP's belief that your home course should be the toughest place you ever had to run. He had us run it twice to identify the branches that had to be cut down to make it safe for his new team. Then we had to go back out and cut the branches down. Part of the course was up the side of a sump that was so steep you had to go on all fours. #3 On the bus, Coach P would always keep the heat at 95 degrees. He believed it was good for runners' circulation and would result in better times!
We will truly miss this wonderful coach and gentleman.