Community comes together to remember Marion's #1 fan, Danny "Chico" Cress
A community came together to remember the man, endearingly called Marion's #1 sports fan. Danny "Chico" Cress died after being hit by a motorcycle, at the end of October.
On Wednesday, a funeral service was held for him at Marion Senior High School.
"He was an icon in this town," Danny's uncle Herman Cress said.
No hurricane game was complete without Danny "Chico" Cress.
"Danny was loud, Danny was always at football games," MSHS principal Mike Davidson said. "You could hear him most of the time saying, 'Get on your feet!'"
Davidson said Danny was known for his support of every student and every sport.
"It didn't matter if it was soccer, football, basketball, tennis -- he wanted to see our kids be successful," he said.
Since graduating from MSHS in the 1980's, Danny had been cheering on generation after generation of student athletes, including Justin Lefler, who always saw the super-fan on the sidelines of his wrestling matches.
"When they said Marion's #1 fan, they hit it to a T," he said. And decades later, Lefler found himself giving Danny rides to his children's games.
"If it was a Marion game, he was all for going, come and get me!" he said.
And Danny's family said he never forgot a single game.
"We found tons of newspaper clippings that went all the way back to '87," Cress said. "He could still tell people their jersey number or plays they made that they themselves had forgotten."
But he's not just remembered for his passion for the game; but also, his quirks, like his tractor and his love for Mountain Dew and chocolate.
"That was actually one of his first transportation deals. Now I'm talking [he] literally rode through town - everywhere," Lefler said. "He drank 85 Mountain Dews a week!"
Dozens at the funeral shared their memories of a man with a big personality and an even bigger heart.
"Whether it was here in the gym or on the football field, it's where Danny spent some of his happiest times," Davidson said.
Even though he's gone, his family said the Hurricanes will never lose their #1 fan.
"Somebody said this is the last time he would be in the Hurricane House -- I don't think so," Cress said.
In lieu of flowers, any gifts will be used to create a Chico Scholarship at the high school.