Viborg-Hurley, SD The Viborg-Hurley community is working to support the family of a four-year-old boy killed in a skid-steer accident on Memorial Day.
The sudden death of Marcus Bauer shook the entire tight-knit community, where the loss of such a young child affects everyone who knew him.
“I was heartbroken; I can't even find the right words,” Marcus’ pre-k teacher Johnitta Van Hull said.
Mrs. Van Hull says she saw Marcus everyday this past school year.
“Just a sweet, sweetheart of a boy, every day when he walked into my classroom, he just lit up the whole classroom with his smile,” Mrs. Van Hull said. “It's just so hard because next year when his little classmates start kindergarten, there will always be that hole because he won't be with them.”
Marcus went to school right next door to his sister; she just finished kindergarten in May. His brother just finished 5th grade at the Viborg-Hurley school district.
“The classes of the siblings, those parents have grouped together and are doing something for the siblings,” Viborg-Hurley Superintendent Peggy Peterson said.
It is just one example of the many ways people in Viborg and Hurley are working to support the Bauer family.
“I just had a little girl come in and give them $20 from her piggy bank, the Centerville T-ball team gave $150 they collected at the game last night too,” the Bauer’s family friend Alicia Knutson said.
Businesses in both towns are collecting donations along with a go-fund-me page to help with funeral expenses.
“Burying a child is not something anyone ever wants to do and it’s expensive,” Knutson said.
Community members have also helped by mowing their lawn, helping around the house and more.
“Lots of food, we just had somebody bring in 60 pounds of frozen meat so she is stocked up with food,” Knutson said.
“Anytime you lose anybody in the community, it’s a hard loss, but when it’s a child, you never expect them to go first,” Peterson said.
Flowers are already arriving for Marcus’ funeral which is Friday at the Viborg community center.
Hundreds of people are expected to come out to celebrate the four-year -old boy who touched so many lives.
The school district counselor is available for any families in need of support over the summer.