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Mitchell Lee Kertis, II
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Birth: Jul. 17, 1991
California, USA
Death: Nov. 26, 2008
Okaloosa County
Florida, USA

NW Florida Daily News
December 1, 2008 - 3:57 PM
Robbyn Brooks (permission to use)

Friends: 'He always knew how to make things better' Hundreds of mourners pack church for Crestview High football player's funeral

"No one hugged like Mitch," said Kasi Taylor, 18. "He had these big bear hugs."

There were so many people at the Crestview High School senior's funeral Monday morning, many mourners could only stand inside Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church.

Kertis, 17, was killed the day before Thanksgiving when he lost control of his SUV at the intersection of State Road 85 and State Road 123. It flipped several times, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, partially ejecting Kertis.

"We always talk about leaving a positive legacy, and Mitch did that," Crestview High School football coach Matt Brunson said. "He was a good all-around kid. He played with emotion and played hard."

Kertis loved football, his friends said. He began playing in the city league when he was 7 and finished out his career with the Crestview High Bulldogs this year.

After the Lord's Prayer following the final Dawgs game of the season, Kertis went around singing the praises of his teammates.

Brunson said Kertis told the other players, "I love you guys. I loved playing with you guys and I'm going to miss you guys."

"I'll always remember that," Brunson said.

But it wasn't just his teammates Kertis cared for during the games.

"We could be losing horribly and he'd be on the sidelines trying to amp everyone in the stands up," said Ciarra Weaver, 17. "He would dance like a goofball if he had to."

Kertis also loved video games and movies. His friends said he was into the usual guy-style action flicks and played video games like Madden Football and Guitar Hero. However, his friends also joked about his softer side.

"He made fun of himself for liking girl songs," Weaver laughed, adding he loved Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold," Pink's "So What?" and Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly."

Tuesday before his accident, Kertis watched The Lion King with Taylor and other friends.

"That's an awesome memory to have of him," Taylor said.

Breauna Allen, 15, said if she ever had a problem, she knew exactly who could cheer her up.

"Mitch had the great ability to do whatever it took to make me smile and laugh," Allen said.

Allen remembers the last time she saw Kertis. They were in the school's hallway the Friday afternoon before he was killed.

"I had had a bad day and he grabbed me by the waist and tickled me under my chin and said, ‘Tell me what's wrong gorgeous,' " Allen recalled. "He always knew how to make things better."

Mitchell Lee Kertis II
1991 - 2008
#77 Crestview High Bulldogs

Mitchell Lee Kertis II, age 17, of Crestview, Fla., died Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008, from injuries received in an automobile accident.

He was born in Wildmor, Calif., on July 17, 1991. Mitchell was a member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church and a senior in the class of 2008. He was also a member of the Crestview High School Football team.

Survivors include his parents, Mitchell and Ileana Kertis of Crestview; sisters, Tanya, Anita and Kristy; maternal grandparents, Richard and Alilcia Garcia; paternal grandparents, Linda and George Kertis; seven nieces and nephews; uncles, Richard and Robert Garcia, and Alex and Jeff Kertis; and aunts, Diane Kertis and Keanne Martinez.
The family will receive friends on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m., with a rosary being recited at 7:30 p.m. at Crestview Memorial Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 1, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. Burial will follow at the Liveoak Memorial Park Cemetery.

Crestview Memorial Funeral Home is entrusted with the funeral arrangements.

Liveoak Park Memorial Cemetery
Okaloosa County
Florida, USA
Created by: C
Record added: Dec 01, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31875249
Mitchell Lee Kertis, II
Added by: C
Mitchell Lee Kertis, II
Added by: C
Mitchell Lee Kertis, II
Added by: C
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