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Marshall accepts 1970 plane crash victim’s memorabilia

On November 18, 2013

Memorabilia from the past found its way home to Marshall University.

A framed Marshall jersey, proudly displaying the number 82, and a faded football team photo were donated Monday to the Foundation Hall.

The items were donated by Sharon Holbrook from Cincinnati, Ohio, who was friends with the late Jack Repasy, a victim in the 1970 plane crash that took the lives of 75 people.

Jack Repasy was a wide receiver for Marshall and he was one of three students that came from Moeller High School in Cincinnati. Mark Andrews and Bob Harris were the other two students that came to play football from Moeller.

These guys were the golden boys,” Holbrook said. “I think it was important for them to stay together.”

Holbrook still lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Mike, and came to Huntington to present the memorabilia.

Repasy’s sister, Julie Repasy, was also a good friend of Holbrook’s. Julie Repasy died in August, at age 60, from progressive supranuclear palsy.

Holbrook was named a beneficiary and requested anything from Jack Repasy’s football career that was left. She brought along with her a Cincinnati newspaper from 1969 with an article featuring Repasy’s football career.

The team photo donated had hung for years inside of Julie Repasy’s mother's house alongside other items from Jack’s football career, Holbrook said.

Bringing the items Monday stirred up a lot of memories for Holbrook, she said.

Holbrook recalled pledging with a sorority at the University of Dayton when she heard the news of the crash. She received the news from a girl she grew up with that lived in the same hall as her.

Holbrook said she still gets emotional as she recalls the details of hearing of the crash.

When Holbrook heard the news, she immediately got a ride back with her roommate’s boyfriend, who was also a Moeller High School graduate, and returned home.

Holbrook remembers the funeral mass at Moeller being packed full of friends and family to remember the boys.

“Jack was like an older brother to me,” Holbrook said. “He had no fear.”

Holbrook said that Repasy’s parents were present at the East Carolina game of 1970 and offered to drive him, as well as Andrews and Harris, back home but the young men declined and flew back with the team.

The tragedy brought Holbrook and Julie Repasy closer together.

“It created a stronger bond between us,” Holbrook said.

Holbrook recalled going to California after “We Are… Marshall” came out in 2006 to see it with Julie.

“I don’t think that I knew the history well enough to be critical or critique it,” Holbrook said. “But I remember Julie thinking it was well done. She knew a lot of the people portrayed in it personally.”

Holbrook said it has been interesting seeing these items again, especially seeing the picture of Jack.

“If Julie had been well enough, I’m sure she would have been here doing this,” Holbrook said. “I think this is what Julie would have wanted if she were still alive today.”

The Foundation Hall at Marshall is the final resting place for Jack Repasy’s memorabilia.

Andrea Steele can be contacted at steele98@marshall.edu.

 

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