By Chris Dailey
Wall High School was recently shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic passing of senior Shawn Erm.
Those who were friends with Shawn knew him as a race car enthusiast. He loved race car driving and was often found at the Wall Stadium Speedway, where he would both watch the professional drivers as well as race himself.
Shawn and his family all contributed to the annual Turkey Derby 48 race and were members of the Garden State Quarter Midget Racing Club (QMRC). Shawn’s mother, Lisa, is the current Race Director, and his father, Chris, is a board member.
Shawn volunteered for the race club and helped it navigate through COVID-19. He even ran several race day operations such as computer scoring, lineups, pregame music and drying the track.
This year’s Turkey Derby began Sat., Nov. 6, commemorating the life of the young man who was active at the race tracks.
“Back in my early years of elementary school, it was not as easy for me to make friends. As a result some days I would find myself sitting on the playground at recess by myself. Then I met Shawn,” said Wall senior Carl Parcesepe. “If he ever saw me by myself, he would come over to ask how my day was going and talk to me. These actions truly spoke to his character and personality. Over the years I did not talk to Shawn as much as I did in my elementary career, but we remained good acquaintances and he always left a positive impression on me. When I received word that he had passed, I was left in a state of shock, not truly believing it at first. It is truly heartbreaking that one of our own is no longer with us. However, his memory, and how he was a friend to me when no one else was, will always live with me.”
“He was always so incredibly generous, always put others first and would go out of his way to help his friends and family,” said another friend of Shawn’s and fellow senior Ryan Kotch. “Shawn had a contagious laugh that those who knew him will never forget.”
Many students are still struggling with the shock of the news and immense sadness as well. Everyone deals with grief differently and Wall High School has offered counseling available to anyone who needs someone to talk to as they navigate through their own grief. Please don’t hesitate to seek help if you feel you need it.
Visitation for Shawn was scheduled for Mon., Nov. 8, from 4-8 p.m. at O’Brien Funeral Home in Wall Township.