Community rallies around boy, 12, after death of mother, father

CHURUBUSCO, Ind. (WANE) – There isn’t just one word to describe how the past year has been for 12 year old Karsten Courtney.

“Nerve-racking, definitely happy, joyous overwhelming, bunch of things,” he said.

Karsten’s mother suddenly passed away in 2015.

Then just this past Friday, his father, Durand Courtney, was killed in an traffic crash, less than a year after his mother passed away.

But the young boy is far from alone.

“I don’t think there’s any place like Churubusco. When one person in this community is hurting the whole community hurts with them,” Pastor Tim Grable, Sugar Grove Church of God, said.

From support groups to thoughts and prayers, the community has come together to help Karsten.

“Hugging, loving me, being my servants,” Courtney said.

“We’ve had people everywhere I turn asking what can we do to help Karsten? We’ve had folks spending a lot of time with Karsten and playing games with him and kind of helping keep him diverted sort of from everything that’s happening, Grable said.

Karsten, who requested to be on camera, is confident he’ll be okay. Surrounded with love and care.

“Thank you to my family and my pastor over there and the youth pastor Laurie,” Courtney said.

He’ll take it one day at a time. While the community remembers a friend and promises to take care of his son.

“Durand was a great part of the community. We’re going to miss him tremendously but he leaves behind a very, very special son and in a way he sort of belongs to all of us,” Grable said.

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