Tributes continue to pour in for Kim Coursey and many say he was a great boss, a great mentor and a great friend.

Kim Coursey at Red Rock Bible Camp in 2018

Only three years after stepping down as Executive Director of Red Rock Bible Camp, Kim Coursey of Steinbach has passed away due to complications with Alzheimer’s disease.

Coursey is mostly known for his 40 years as the Executive Director at Red Rock Bible Camp in the Whiteshell.

Merle Schmidt, board member for Red Rock since 2005 relates his connection to Coursey.

“I met him for the first time in 1985 when I went to Red Rock to work there. And yeah, I'd say his impact from the first time I met him, was one of the reasons why I spent more than one year there.”

Schmidt says, he worked as summer staff in the late ’80s and then together with his wife in the late 90's to early 2000's and then in 2005 I joined the board for Red Rock.

“I had gone full circle from Kim being my boss, to now at the end I was Kim's boss. It was kind of an interesting full circle. However, during that time he's been a friend and a mentor and a great colleague.”

Kim Coursey during chapel time at Red RockSchmidt remembers that Coursey’s position title changed over the years. From being called a Camp Manager to On-site Director. But Schmidt says, he mostly had the duties of a camp manager.

Telling the story of how Coursey came to that position at Red Rock he says, “Kim had been living in Missouri because he is an American. There he met Rowena and they got married in 1975. They then moved up to Canada in '79. It was then that they started working at camp because Rowena’s brother, Cliff Dirks, was directing the camp at that time."

Schmidt continues, saying that Coursey was a just natural at connecting with the youth at camp, so the couple moved to Red Rock and just became connected to it. “And he never really left that connection.”

When asked how Kim Coursey had made an impact on the community and the many campers, staff and families, Schmidt says,

“Oh wow, it's one of those things where, when you look at Kim’s life, there are people in many different world’s that would have known him, whether it was youth leaders, whether it's talking to people from his church he was always doing ministry work. He also was involved with Christian Camping International, which is a national and worldwide board that looks after camping in developing countries. He would be involved with coaching his kids and impacting people through playing basketball. Just a varied background.”

Schmidt continues, “He was one of those people that was never restricted. He never said, “I don't do that”. He would just be willing to try and he’d immerse himself in whatever he did. And he did it well.”

Kim enjoying one of his favourite past-times

He recalls a personal moment with Coursey, “I remember as a young man playing in a hockey game and all of a sudden I saw him in the stands. And as an American from Missouri that didn't know much about hockey, to see him cheering me on... not, because he loved hockey, but because he liked sports and he liked me. And that's the only reason he came to watch that game that day and that was impactful. He just was always a supportive person in our lives.”

Funeral services for Kim Coursey were held on Monday, November 1 at Birchwood Chapel in Steinbach. Schmidt believes that were it not for the Public Health Orders, “I think there would have been a lot of people at the funeral. Perhaps even thousands of people, just to grieve together and connect.”

He says perhaps in the future Red Rock Bible Camp will have more of a Celebration of Coursey’s life.
“One that is fitting because his life was everywhere in this area. A lot of people were affected by him, but I think the connection on-site there and ministering to people for 40 years. Kim definitely had a connection to the actual site out at Red Rock it's the biggest thing that I will remember. Just going there knowing that when you turned the corner chances were that Kim would be there.”

Schmidt says, even after Coursey retired from Camp Director, he would still always be on-site in the summertime. “So for me, when I would go visit or my kids would work at camp or we would just go out to see the camp. You always hoped that Kim would be there.”

“Kim was a great boss, a great mentor and a great friend and a good example.“

Kim Coursey passed away on October 28, at the age of 67, surrounded by his wife Rowena and their 3 children Clarissa, Eric and Joel, with a small funeral at Birchwood Funeral Chapel in Steinbach. 

He is survived by his wife Rowena, his daughter Clarissa and her husband Gary and two children Logan and Lucas, his son Eric and his wife Krystal along with their four children Aidan, Quianna, Tyrus and Ella, as well as his son Joel and his wife Heidi and their daughter Joan. He is also survived by his two sisters and brother Debbie, Lisa and Cameron along with their families.

In honour of Kim Coursey, the family asks that donations be made to Red Rock Bible Camp or the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba