Last week, Dominique Corder's family said their goodbye to the 20-year-old Central Lakes College student and quarterback at funeral services in his Indianapolis hometown.
On Wednesday, Corder's Central Lakes College family - where Corder was a sophomore and starred as quarterback of the Raiders football team - shared fond memories of their friend who was shot and killed in front of his grandmother's Indianapolis home on New Year's Day.
Myriad words were used to describe Corder by the nine people who spoke during the memorial: friend, leader, determined, humble, focused, special, talented, passionate, motivated, hard-working, mild-mannered, reserved, funny and courageous.
All spoke of his exceptional promise and drive to achieve his goals - goals that tragically will go unfulfilled.
"I've been asked many times of the week and half what I'm going to miss most about Dominique. While he had many endearing qualities, the thing I will miss most is that fulfillment of opportunity," said CLC football coach Greg Medeck. "I know Dominique was going to be a success, and not just on the football field."
Corder's memorial was held in the CLC gymnasium and was attended by more than 100 friends, students, college faculty and staff and community members.
In the gym, on a stand near the speakers' podium, Corder's No. 1 jersey was framed. In front of it sat a football and a vase of flowers. At each end of the gym were posters with Corder's picture and the statement "Dominique - You Will Be Missed!!!" Friends and faculty were invited to leave a message on the posters.
Several people wore shirts honoring Corder. At the entrance to the gym people were offered a black armband with Corder's jersey number.
The memorial opened with Jay Bock, CLC football public address announcer, introducing the coaches, defense and offense. Last announced was Corder, to loud applause and cheering from those gathered in the gym. A brief video of Corder's games and accomplishments followed.
Speakers first read aloud a Star Tribune story about Corder, which was followed by the reading of a letter from Corder's grandmother, Anna Hall, to CLC football coaches, the football team, students and faculty was read.
"There are not enough words to express my gratitude for all that you did for Dominique while he was at CLC, so far from home," Hall wrote. "You reached out to him as if he were one of your own. Thank you, Thank you."
Corder's friend, Carrie Ray, said he was an inspiration not just to herself and everyone in the gym but to her son, whom Corder always gave a high-five to at football games.
"He made a difference," Ray said.
"I hope that we all move forward from today and celebrate. Celebrate the life that he had. Move forward and celebrate and just be thankful in that time you had with him."
Deb Breneman, CLC faculty support services, said during one of her last conversations with Corder he expressed how thankful he was to be at CLC.
"Everything you all did for him, you did it right. From his own mouth, he told me, his experience here was wonderful. You did it right," Breneman said. "I believe we did our very best for Dom and I acknowledge in my heart and soul, and I hope you do too, that Dom has left his very best with us."
Also speaking was teacher Kathy Blake who is also a pastor and presided; Larry Lundblad, CLC president; Jim Russell, CLC basketball coach and athletic director; Sue Austin, student support service program adviser; and Steve Sabin, CLC Student Senate; and Jim Strohmeier, assistant football coach.
Strohmeier recalled the special friendship he developed with Corder, which started with football but became so much more. Strohmeier said Corder was someone with exceptional character for such a young age and once he put his mind to something he was determined to achieve his goals.
Strohmeier shared stories about helping Corder by inviting him to stay at his home and the frightful experience, for Strohmeier at least, the first time Corder drive a snowmobile; driving Corder to errands and being surprised at how many people knew him; Corder's love of Gummi Bears, going so far to tell fellow payers he would throw them a touchdown pass if they gave him the candy; and the fact that Corder and Strohmeier didn't always see eye-to-eye on the playing field.
"Dom has given us so many memories and he will never be forgotten," Strohmeier said. "You wore No. 1 on your jersey and you are No. 1 in the hearts of many. You will be missed."
Medeck announced at the memorial that No. 1 on the CLC football team will be retired in honor of Corder.
Corder was shot in the stomach by Mark Price Jr., 20, after Corder asked Price to move his vehicle, which was parked in front of Corder's grandmother's house in Indianapolis. Corder later died at a nearby hospital. Price has been charged with murder.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.