Kurt William McColley left this earth for that Great Basketball Court in the Sky on October 4th. Heaven must have needed the best youth basketball coach around. For the last 20 years, Kurt gave of his talents and of life's most precious possession - his time - to inspire and lift up any kid who wanted to learn the game of basketball. His message to his kids was simple, but profound, "believe in yourself." Kurt's greatest joy and reward in life was to watch his kids become believers in themselves, both as basketball players and as human beings. To Coach Kurt, life was basketball and basketball was life. Work hard, learn the fundamentals and know the rules and you will win. A natural-born athlete in his own right, Kurt developed his passion for the game of basketball at a young age. He understood that to become one the best point guards in the State of Montana he would have to work harder than anyone else and he did, becoming an all-star decorated athlete in high school. Kurt always knew he wanted to coach and once he realized his dream, he applied the same work ethic. He spent countless hours, almost always volunteer, teaching girls and boys of all ages the game of basketball, which he firmly believed would help them to succeed in life. He built programs to help young athletes achieve their full potential, both on and off the court. Through his non-profit organizations, he introduced hundreds of kids to the game of basketball and by donating additional time to fundraising to help cover the costs of the programs, he opened the door to many kids who could not otherwise afford it. Over the years, Kurt coached dozens of teams and hundreds of players, achieving success at both the state and national level. But his greatest success in life is the indelible mark he left on the lives of so many of the kids he worked with. Kurt made people believe in themselves by believing in them, a legacy that is probably the single greatest gift anyone can impart. Born on February 24, 1964 in Billings, Montana, Kurt was the oldest of three children born to Dallas William McColley and Sharon Merrifield McColley. Kurt was a loving and devoted father who could not be prouder of his two sons, Kaileb and Kaine. He left this earth with no doubt whatsoever that his boys are true champions. He was a best friend to his wife, Michelle Chapman McColley, a pillar of strength to his family and a good friend to many. Kurt was also co-owner of Formal Carpet Cleaners, a business he started with his close friend, Patrick Ottinger, over 18 years ago. Kurt is preceded in death by his father Bill and brother, Kraig. Survivors include his wife and two sons, his mother Sharon McColley, his sister Kimberly McColley Eiselein (Mike) of Billings, and four nieces: Kira Frye, Karissa Frye, Kassie McColley and Kataraina McColley. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 15th at 4pm at the Chet Cole Life Enrichment Center in Lecanto, Florida.
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