|My condolences to the Ambrose family on the loss of this great man. He touched the hearts of thousands of young athletes over many decades of work, and he still is an integral part of my memories high school some 30 years ago.
I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Ambrose again last year (at a cross-country meet, of course) and got a photo together with him; it meant a lot to me then as it does now. My the blessings of the Lord be with you and your family, and may you rest in peace, good sir.|
|I learned a great deal about life, responsibility and running from this great man. My favorite saying ... If it is to be it is up to me. I would say that he will be missed, but I know that he is always present in the thousands of lives that he touched. Well done Mr. Ambrose.|
You have touched so many lives. You made a strong impression on me when I was running in high school and you made a strong impression on my athletes each year when I introduced them to you at the Holly Invitational. Your legacy in Michigan Track and Cross Country will live on forever. Thank you.|
|Kermit was a dynamic force in Michigan track and field. I first met him in 1961 during a track meet at Redford High School. I had the opportunity to work with him at hundreds of meets over the years. he will be missed as a fixture at Michigan events. There are not enough words to highlight his achievements. |
|Thanks for all the adventures we had together. Love you, G2|
|My condolences to Kermit's family. And my heart felt thank you to Kermit for all he did for Michigan high school running!
Here is one of my memories of Kermit:
(For the record, I ran Michigan High School cross country and track and field in the late 1960s and 1970. I was familiar with Kermit Ambrose as the very successful, and recently retired, cross country and track and field coach at Birminham Seaholm High School, and as a starter and official for high school cross country and track and field meets.)
In August, 2007, I was a spectator at my first Michigan high school cross country meet in over 30 years. Before the meet, I walked the course to determine the best viewing locations. I ran into my nephew's assistant cross country coach, who knew my history. "So, what's changed in 35 years?", he asked.
"Not much", I replied. "Everything is very much the same. In fact, the starter even looks like Kermit Ambrose!"
"The starter IS Kermit Ambrose!", the coach replied.|
|We have many fond memories of Kermit N. Ambrose
when he would come and pick up trophies for the track and field events he was responsible for. He had time to sit in our home and visit and share with us his passion and love for students and coaches that he worked with. He was one of a kind, a true hero with a loving concern for people. We always looked forward to his annual Christmas letter telling of his many activities he was involved with even into his advanced age. A very kind and gentle human being. Howard and Thelma Armstrong from Armstrong Millworks |
Howard and Thelma Armstrong
|Dear Kermit you are going to be missed by many of us in the Cross Country/Track & Field/Special Olympics/MITCA. You have been an inspiration to me all my life since I first met you as a sophomore at Cody High School in February, 1960 at an indoor triangular track & field meet hosted by Cody along with coach Kermit's Birmingham Seaholm H.S. team and Redford H.S. coached by the legendary Bruce Waha. I had the privilege to have known him for 51 years and in May, 1960 I met my girlfriend/wife Jewell and Kermit would in a gentleman way address my wife each time he met her, she always felt honored he remembered her name each time. As many of you have known he had a wide range of knowing everyone's name, he was a master at this art of times/dates/names. Upon meeting Kermit, he quoted a poem to me in which I have used my entire life, "IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME".
What an impression he left along with many others he touched by using these most powerful ten two lettered vowels. Kermit at this time is organizing a track & field or cross country meet in heaven with many of his friends or friends to be. May you rest in peace.
|Rest in pease Kermit. A great man that impacted so many lives in a positive way. Thank you for the inspiration!|
|A great coach; an even greater teacher. Many things he taught me in 1954/55 in general science I remember to this day. He had great "tricks" to help a student learn and recall. A great job Kermit; a great life. Thanks very much.|
At our last class reunion, it was nice to talk to you about old times. I will always remember you. Member of the class of 1957, Birmingham High School.
|Kermit, the world was a better place with you in it! You will be greatly missed for your sweet generosity and crazy sense of humor. Hugs to your loved ones.|
|You left such an impression on me, and are such a big part of so many fond high school track and cross country memories for me. I know you touched the lives of many, many others, and will be missed tremendously. Not everyone can say they crossed paths with a legend. I can. "Look down, see that your feet are off the lines."|
Beth (Lawrence) Stebbins
|To Kermit's family, I want to express my sadness at hearing of Kermit's passing. He was a mentor to me. I got to know Kermit through MITCA and I served on the MITCA Board for over 25 years with him. I traveled to some Olympic Trials and several NCAA meets with him as part of the Michigan entourage. Even though Carole and I lived across the state from Kermit, he found a way to stop by occasionally and spend time with us. He was usually on his way to somewhere else but would stop as he was just passing through. And now he has passed on to a far better place. He has probably already started a meet for Raf whom we are sure has the angels running. He was a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life. We will surely miss him. I am sorry that we can not at the services on Friday or Saturday as we are in Florida but rest assured we will be thinking of him and all in attendance. Sincerely, Rich and Carole Tompkins
|My condolences go out to Mr. Kermit's family. I was a track athlete in Detroit, Michigan, and Mr. Kermit, as I would call him, used to scare me to death when I checked in for a race. He would give us our lane numbers by putting a white cube in our hands. He always gave me cube #8 for lane 8. I ran with for Pershing HS and the Detroit Cheetah Track Club.|
|Our prayers are with Kermit Ambrose's family, both those immediate and the cross country & track family. we always looked forward to XC state finals & the Holly meet. Sophie looked forward to the awards to get that warm greeting from Kermit. now he joins all those who have preceded him to heaven in that neverending cross country race with out lord. RIP Kermit You will be greatly missed.|
Julianna & Sophie Schuetze
|Every time our paths crossed it was an honor. Mr. Ambrose had exceptional recall, and I am especially grateful for the memories he shared with me. |
|I owe more than I can express to this unbelievable person. He taught me lessons that I will keep with me until I see him again coaching in heaven. May God bless you Coach! |
|Kermit, You have and still will be such a Great influence on me and others in the Sport of Track and Field and Cross Country. It was my pleasure to have known you throughout my life. When ever I had the pleasure of seeing you at the meet with my athletes I made sure that they had an opportunity of meeting you. You always introduced yourself as Kermit "just like the Frog" I remember four years ago at the Track and Field trials in Eugene Oregon how we spent some time together doing our laundry. It seems like yesterday! You will be missed by so many of us Track and Field Junkies. Please say high to Raff for all of us!
Our thoughts and Prayers will always be with you!
David J. Miller
| I recall when Coach Ambrose came to BHS, as I ran both cross country and track and was Capt. of the '53 cross country team. He was a great guy and was always interested in making us not only better runners, but better students.
The high school had recently opened at Cranbrook and Lincoln, and the athletic field was not fully in place. There was a football field, but no track. I remember Coach Ambrose, with his hoe and rake in hand, actually helping build the new track on the east side of the campus, and the members of the track team pitched in and helped. It bonded us even more so. He had such dedication to his school and the students and athletes with whom he came in contact.
Coach attended our 40th HS reunion , and asked me if I was "still running", and told me I had been a pretty fair runner, but then reminded me my brother ( two years ahead of me ) was better! Wonderful sense of humor, and Coach Ambrose will sorely be missed.|
|Kermit, You have influenced me ever since the first time that I met you. I will never forget the time(s) that you spent teaching me to be a better official and a better person. You will be truly missed forever. |
Michael Raffin and family
|What a priviledge to be one of Kerms boys. The school bus stopped in front of my house on Lincoln ave. I never put a foot on it as he picked me up every morning for three years. I was a member of his track and cross country teams. I saw him several times a year and he followed the athletic endeavors of my son & daughter as they also went thru seaholm. Teaching and coaching were much much more than pay check for our dear friend Kerm.|
|A Legend. A true Legend. I ran CC at Bedford HS in Temperance from 1980-83. I first met Coach Ambrose in the Summer of 1981 while attending the Wolverine CC Camp. Kermit was the coach. He worked us hard, but at the same time he made it fun. We carried his “lessons” all through HS and because of him, we fielded some very strong CC teams during those years.
Every Michigan CC invitational we participated in, Kermit seemed to be there. More amazing is that he always remembered our names and which school we attended and he was ALWAYS interested in how we were progressing. One day while hosting a dual meet on our home course, guess who showed up? Kermit drove about 3 hours round trip just to come watch our meet. Most parents wouldn't drive that far for a CC dual meet.
I often tell my wife and kids about Kermit’s stories, sayings, actions, etc. Kermit, you left an impression on me and I will never forget you. You were a great man.
|RIP Kermit. The finish line won't be the same without you. |
|Thank you Kermit for everything. You have touched so many lives with your passion for teaching and coaching. I have learned so much from you as a runner and as a coach myself. I was so touched that you took time out to help me individually and that you a actually paid a visit to my home all those years ago. It left a lasting impression and I owe much of my success in running and in life to the lessons you taught. I have great memories from camp wolverine and doing "cals" with you leading the way. What I will never forget is "if it is to be, it is up to me". A simple statement that holds so much truth in taking responsibility for what one has control over. I was able to compete at the state and national levels in large part due to the lessons you taught me. Lessons that have carried over to every aspect of my life.|
|In 1960, Mr. Ambrose taught me how to use a clutch at the corner along Christ Church Cranbrook. I deeply appreciated his instruction and simply being in a vehicle with him. He was a patient, friendly instructor.
|My heart felt condolences go out to Kermit's family. I'm sure you all can tell how much the coaches and athletes across Michigan felt about Kermit.
I didn't know him as well as a lot of coaches in the Catholic League, but I knew he was well liked by all.
My memory of Kermit was his subtle and witty sense of humor. It was the Shrine Inv., at Marsh Banks Park in 1980, my first CC season at St. Frances Cabrini. People were gathered for the medals and trophies. Kermit was passing them out. The top four teams were Cabrini, Lutheran West, Lutheran East and OL St. Mary's. Kermit announced to the crowd.... "It looks like the Catholics and the Lutherans went at it today". Everyone got a real kick out of it.
Mr. Ambrose I know the Catholics and the Lutheran will miss you greatly.
God bless you for all you 've done!
John Tizedes, Cabrini CC and Track |
|Our sincere condolences to the Ambrose family. Kermit's love for the runner showed through every summer when he would arrive at camp days before the start of Cross Camp and begin mapping, cutting and marking trails. At morning workouts, his iconic bull horn in hand barking encouragement and blunt advise, his commitment to discipline was never in doubt. His smile, firm hand shake and attention to detail in remembering runners from camps past, gave parents, coaches and runners confidence that great things were to come. Kermit, thank you for the great memories, you truly made it "all part of the Wolverine experience." |
Erik Schupbach, Wolverine Camps
|Bob and I feel sad about Kermit. I know he lived a wonderful life and was kind to everyone. Kerm was 101, but he was young in the way he thought and his joy in life. He was a big part of our life. He always wanted to know when the kids got married or graduated or what sport they were in. He was incredibly generous with his time and talent. I hope he gets a golden whistle upstairs. He will be sorely missed and that chuckle of his...his love of ice cream...and visitors. I'm glad he had visitors right up to the end. He was one of those people that you never wanted to die. He made everyone around him feel good. Our six kids loved him...saved his notes and letters....said verbatim all his sayings..."authority, observation, and experience". Bob ran cross country for Kerm and was front and center in his homeroom class for four years at Birmingham High School. I met Kermit in my freshman year and he taught me science. Some of his teachings more than 50 yrs. later are with me. Bob was class of 56 and I was class of 57. We send our condolences for such a gentle man and goodbyes from Rob, John, Carrie, James, Matt and Mike. All our love - Ginny and Bob|
|I first met Mr. Ambrose in the mid 60's as a sophomore at Redford Thurston High School at a meet between our school, Seaholm and Detroit Redford. He was all over the field, totally in charge and yelling at everyone---I was terrified of him!
Twenty years later I was attending a track meet with my son, then a high school freshman and we met Mr. Ambrose once again. To my astonishment, he took a sincere interest in Rich, asked all about his running and invited him to attend his Wolverine cross country camp in the fall. This from the man I had grown up fearing!
My son went to Wolverine for three straight years, eventually earning All State honors at Flint Central, in no small measure because of the support of Mr. Ambrose. He not only called Rich each year before the state meet to encourage him, he also called the Wolverine campers who qualified from Grand Blanc HS school where I was coaching in the late 80's and early 90's! My athletes would tell me about his call the next day in awed tones. I realized then that he called every single camper each year with words of congratulations or consolation!
The term "great" is overused and loses impact but in this case it is the best way to describe this Great Man! The powerful and positive influence Mr. Ambrose had upon so many thousands of students, athletes and coaches is almost unimaginable.
May God Bless you, Kermit Ambrose--Rest in peace! You made it through the fourth quarter and into overtime!
|On behalf of all Grosse Pointe North runners of the
seventies we thank you for all your contributions to the sport of cross country and track and field. I was
a team member of some outstanding teams that was coached by Tom Gaurke who got his start because of a guy named Kermit Ambrose .Kermit the influence you had on young people will never be forgotten.The Norseman salute you and God Bless you and your family.Regards, Dan Van Vliet Class of 1980 GPN|
Daniel Van Vliet
|I want to extend my condolences to the Ambrose family and the Michigan running community. I was lucky to spend time with Kermit and learn from his wisdom. I still try and apply one of his favorite quotes to my life---"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary" I can remember distinctly the first time I heard him state those words at Royal Oak Kimball HS in 1995! Its amazing to think of the amount of people he has impacted in a positive way!|
|Kermit. Thank you for your residency of 49 years here at Amber Apartments. You touched our staff and neighbors with your great sense of humor, your generosity and your strong will. We were sad to see you leave earlier this year but we knew it was the right decision. May you rest in peace!|
Amber Apartments-Jennell Grier
|You will be missed...Thanks for being there for all of us...Coach Bobby Glenn|
|Thank you coach Ambrose for all the great memories and advice as my track and cross country coach at Seaholm. You were also a supportive mentor as I coached high school track. You will be missed by so
many people. |
|Kermit was an inspiration changed my life. I attended Wolverine cross country camp in 1975 and 1976. I racewalked in the Junior Olympics then and he told me I had strong legs to be a walker. Through his hard workouts and famous saying the 10 most important two letter words, If it is to be It is up to me. I be came an Olympian in 1988. I'll miss you, Kermit|
|Kermit, I can still hear your voice telling me to put my 'sweatclothes' on and warm up when I go out for a run on a cold morning. Thanks for helping me become a better athlete and a better human being. Glad you made it through all 4 quarters. You will be greatly missed. My condolences to your family and everyone who will miss the legend that was you.|
|A fond farewell to good man and a great and inspitational coach. I ran track for Kermit at Seaholm from 1958 to 1960 and learned a lot about life's lesson of hard work and perserverance. I never saw anyone keep so many stats and times on all his athletes. I also remember building that track with a shovel and rake for 30 minutes every afternoon before workouts as he drove around and around the track in his car with grate behind it trying to level out the cinders and clay.
Our class of 1960 had our 50 year reunion last summer and we invited Kermit and he said he would be happy to come. I asked if I couldn't come pick him up and the 100 year old politely declined and said he would drive himself!! We all had a wonderful time that night and it leaves me with a wonderful memory of a very nice man.|
Your impact on my life is immeasurable!! I remember first meeting you in the early 80's as my brother Ron ran in cross and T&F in Michigan. I loved the command you demanded at the meets. I observed and took notes because there were two things I was certain of in those stands. I would run when it was my time AND I was NEVER going to make you yell at me with that bullhorn. I am proud to say I accomplished both. You took a liking to me early (might have had something to do with my mom and brother bribing you, not sure) and it has been a fantastic friendship since. From attending Wolverine Camp between my freshman and sophomore year to returning the next year a state champ, you made sure I always was prepared and always felt special!! This continues well into my adulthood... with our annual dinners at The Avenue in Royal Oak to the anticipation of your Holiday Letter (I have everyone you ever sent). I think the biggest honor was attending our 100th Birthday party. That was an amazing night and I am so glad Ron and I were there to share those stories and celebrations with you. You will be missed by Haley and Andrew who always delighted in receiving candy from you after dinner and the hugs and words of wisdom you always shared with the whole table. Love you Kermit. |
Helen Johnson Harding
|Kermit - You will be remembered for a very long time by a huge number of runners and parents. My life was blessed by the times we spent together and the meets that you let me work alongside of you. Even in death, you remain an inspiration to me. Your passion for Cross Country and Track showed each one of us what could be accomplished if we put our minds to it.
Don Walker - Seaholm '74
|Family and friends of Mr. Adams please accept my condolences. You can find comfort in the fond memories of your loved one. The Bible also offers words of comfort during times of bereavement. Isaiah 51:12 states “I-I myself am the One that is comforting you people.” It is comforting to know the Bible speaks of a time when “death will be no more” at Rev 21:3, 4. During your time of bereavement you can find comfort from reading the Bible. |
|He was a legend!|
|Traveling with my wife in Calif for the winter months, visiting my children and G-kids. What a shock to open the MITCA news letter and see Kermit had passed away over a month ago! He was a father figure to me, and I should think many of us growing up with Kermit. When my son ran track for Lake Orion he had Kermit start his races. About all I can say.
God Bless Kermit for being there,
Budd Cicciarelli Adams HS|
|My condolences to the Ambrose family. I want to thank you (and Kermit, once again) for sharing his gifts and passion with those of us in the CC/T&F community. He will be truly missed.|
|It is with great sadness that I have just learned of "Coachs" passing. I will never forget him. He shaped my life and instilled great confidence and agressiveness, which stayed with me all through my career. " When the going gets tough the tough get going" was his old battle cry. I attended his track camp in the late 60's and traveled to various track meets throughout the country driving in his famous white Mercury. Without him, I never would have set many Track records, some still not broken.
I never met any of his familiy, all I ever knew was he played center for Kansas State Football, as he never talked about his personal life. He will be missed and I am so sorry for the Ambrose family, as he was a great man and Atheletics will sorely miss him.|
|To the Ambrose Family. My deepest sympathy. I never met Mr. Ambrose, but I received a Christmas card from him every year since 1995. My husband knew Mr. Ambrose when he taught at Maine East H.S in Park Ridge, Il. Mr. Ambrose sent my husband a
Christmas Card in Nov. of 1995. I sent him a note and told him that John had died of ALS. He sent me a note and we continued to be friends.
Last year when I didn't get a card from him I thought maybe something had happened to him since he was 101. Reading all the notes he was a much regard coach as was my husband who ended up teaching and coaching at Maine South in Park Ridge.
Know that Coach was an inflencial person.
Pat Kilcullen and family.|