CINCINNATI -- Hundreds of friends, family and current and former students, many clad in Elder High School's signature purple, honored the beloved teacher Mark Klusman at his funeral on Wednesday morning at St. Monica - St. George Parish in Clifton Heights.
Klusman, 74, died on Dec. 26 after being struck by a suspected hit-and-run driver Dec. 9, according to the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.
“The support has been you know, unmeasurable," said Klusman's nephew, Matt Klusman. "The community ... everything again, just a great testimonial to what Uncle Mark meant this community, the Elder community, the west side community and the city of Cincinnati."
Klusman was in his 51st year of teaching at Elder after graduating in 1961 and was an avid runner, coach, photographer and community volunteer. He was fatally injured while working with students on a Saturday to clean up streets in East Price Hill.
.@ElderHighSchool is selling t-shirts honoring the life of Mark Klusman. Proceeds go toward a memorial scholarship fund. We're talking about the legacy Klusman leaves behind at 6am. @WCPO https://t.co/ednarxQj7m
— T.J. Parker (@TJParkerWCPO) January 3, 2018
Principal Kurt Ruffing said in a news conference last Wednesday that Klusman's lung stopped working, and he refused life support.
"He was just so generous of a man and just one of those people that didn't want the limelight -- just he was in the background doing whatever needed to be done," a tearful Ruffing said.
Although Klusman's service was closure for some, Matt said he wanted the community to celebrate his uncle's legacy.
"Today you know I think is kind of a the first chapter in a little bit of closure, but the flip side is we really want it to be a celebration of his life cause he meant so much to the community," Matt said.