By SARAH DOOLITTLE, Four Points News
2002 – 2014
The chapel at St. Thomas More Catholic Church was full to overflowing as the Four Points community showed up in droves to honor Pierce Broe and his family at his funeral on Friday, October 10.
Hearts were also overflowing — with grief for Pierce’s death, with love for the Broe family, and with joy and gratitude for a life too short but full of grace.
And so it was that the service began, with “Amazing Grace,” followed by a moving rendition of “Be Not Afraid.”
Father Isidore Ndagizimana led the service, and said that God would want those missing Pierce to do three things: to grieve, to let go and to be grateful.
For his family, his friends, even those who Pierce’s life touched peripherally, it was apparent the grief will not soon pass, even as they work to let go of this “child of God,” as Ndagizimana reminded the mourners. Gratitude, however, was in abundant supply.
The sheer number of kids who attended in tribute to their friend — Pierce’s football teammates, Boy Scouts and friends from school — gave the Broe family much to be grateful for.
The family did not waste the opportunity to further the cause of inspiration. Pierce inspired many in his 12 years, and it is his family’s deepest wish that he continue to do so even in death. Kevin Broe, Pierce’s father, spoke during the service (see sidebar for excerpt) while Pierce’s mom, Janel, stood behind him, offering the strength and support this family has come to embody.
Kevin and Pierce Broe at a recent Viper home football game.
Even as they mourned his absence, it seemed as though Pierce was still there to look out for those who love him. The example he set both before and after cancer inspired others to be brave in their grief, to “Be Not Afraid.”
As Kevin explained, “His fight against cancer doesn’t define Pierce. It was just a small part of his life. And even on his worst days he was always looking forward to the next adventure. Pierce found beauty and joy in even the smallest of things.”
Janel and Pierce Broe recently.
On a bittersweet fall day with blue skies and perfect white clouds racing across the Texas sky, every blade of wild grass bending with the breeze, Pierce, too, could be found in the smallest of things.
|A community shares its memories of Pierce
Anyone who has had the privilege of meeting Pierce Broe will undoubtedly speak of his ever present tenacity, positive attitude, and spirit for life. It didn’t take me long to recognize that Pierce’s learning didn’t necessarily have to come from the pages of a book, but rather from experiencing everything the world had to offer. He had knowledge on so many different topics and was always willing to engage in conversations that allowed him to teach others something new. I loved when we could switch the roles of teacher and student because Pierce offered so many new thoughts to ponder. Pierce was never shy to begin a conversation with, “You should really think about…” Pierce had an amazing appreciation for life and he lived every day purposefully. Pierce was in our lives for a reason but it is up to each of us to determine how we fulfill his mission.
– Rachel McKinley, Fifth Grade Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher
Pierce several years ago.
Sometimes when the coaches were asking the boys to do something, Pierce would not quite get the concept. Pete (Peterson, the coach) would take him to the side and get right in front of him and tell him he needed to block and not let anyone by. “Eye of the tiger,” he would tell him. “Eye of the tiger, Pierce.” And Pierce would not let anyone by after that. He would block with the best of them. Pete always said every year that he coached him that Pierce had his own way of doing things and you just had to get to his level. And he would always deliver.
– Karen Peterson, Wife of Pierce’s football coach
I ended up hanging out with Kevin and Pierce for almost the entire (recent Viper game) and had a wonderful time experiencing Pierce being Pierce. As always, Pierce was in a great mood lifting the spirit of everyone around him! He cheered the Vipers to victory in that game, even though he had a round of chemo earlier that day!!! In spite of his dad’s plea to leave at halftime Pierce wanted to stay to the end of the game.
– Shawn Olsen
It has been such a privilege to meet Pierce and the Broe family. Pierce was my Cheyanna’s Champions 4 Children teammate and we only met in August, but in that short time my husband and I were able to get to know him and his great spirit.
One of my favorite memories of Pierce is from his church fall festival. One of the booths was a local hair salon offering funky hair extensions and colorful hair spray, and Pierce wanted it! So he got a zebra print extension, and the girls sprayed his hair into a purple Mohawk. It was great!
It made me think of my middle school days, and how tough those were… Confidence was not my strong suit, but that was not the case for Pierce. He was not just a kind, funny, selfless guy, he was confident. Despite the wheelchair and his ailing body, he didn’t let that stop him from getting things done and having fun.
The Sunday before Pierce died, CC4C had its annual Micro-Marathon event at the Hill Country Galleria. Pierce rode in a decked out camo-Polaris golf cart with, “Chuck the Buck” sitting in the middle, it was a hit! Pierce had to ride most of the 2.62 course in the Polaris, until the very end, he crossed the finish line on two feet. It was truly a reflection of his motto, “Keep the Faith, Bro!”… taken from 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Pierce will be so dearly missed, but I find peace in knowing his family and seeing the same bright spirit that Pierce had, shines in all of them.
We will “Keep The Faith, Bro!”
-Erica & Ricky Brennes
Pierce Broe and Erica Brennes,
KEYE TV – Traffic Anchor
Pierce having fun with a mohawk.
My favorite memory of Pierce was in second grade. It was snowing outside. Everyone was so happy. Pierce and I were so excite too. We all went outside to run and play. When Pierce asked me, “Olivia, do you want to swing on the swings with me?” I shouted Yaaa! We laughed and ran to the swings. We pumped our legs. The swings went so high. After a while (our teacher) called us. It was time for winter break. I said Pierce bye. Pierce said bye too. We gave each other a hug and said see you later. That’s my favorite memory of Pierce.
– Olivia Erskine, 6th grade, Four Points Middle School