TOMS RIVER, NJ — As news of retired Toms River teacher Dave Correll’s death this weekend has reached his former students and colleagues, many are sharing heartfelt remembrances of a man who was involved at High School South for more than 50 years.

Correll died on Saturday at the age of 83, the Toms River Regional School District said.

A celebration of life has yet to be announced as of Wednesday morning; however, tributes are pouring in from former students and from community members on social media, and on an online obituary posted by Anderson & Campbell Funeral Homes.

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“He was simply unique and irreplaceable,” wrote 1982 alumnus Gus Kakavas. “Mr. Correll’s emphatic voice will forever be in my mind and his incredibly contagious laugh will forever be in my heart.”

“Everyone who met him was a better person because of him,” shared another alum, Lori Bujalski. “He will be deeply missed by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him and loving him.”

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Alumna Sandy Levine (class of ‘78) shared with Patch the documentary that she put together about Correll in 2014, as he marked his 50th year of involvement in Toms River schools.

She told Patch that she went to a South football game in 2013 when her daughter was a student there, and was “stunned” that Correll remembered her by name “after I had had almost no contact with him in about 35 years.”

“I also was stunned that no one had done a video feature story about him before,” said Levine, a filmmaker who runs her independent production company.

Correll retired from teaching in 2007, was inducted into the school district Hall of Fame in 2009, and remained “The Voice of the Indian” at football games until 2020, calling out a familiar “t-t-t-t-touchdown!” when South found the end zone.

The Toms River Township Council honored him in 2021, highlighting the long-lasting school spirit traditions that Correll helped instill into South culture. This includes Senior Night, the Most Loyal Fan Award, the preservation of the Victory Bell, and many more traditions.

As Levine said to Patch, Correll is someone who “bled maroon” (a reference to the school colors of maroon and white) and also fostered the spirit, dignity, and pride that grew to fill the hallways of South during his tenure and beyond.

“He was one of the most energetic teachers that I have ever met,” Levine said. “He felt very strongly that (school spirit) wasn’t just about getting students to come to football games, he thought it would help to gel the student body and to help people feel like a community.”

Levine’s short film shows Correll, who had retired from teaching at that point, dressed in maroon and white and acting in the roles he so often did – delivering the morning announcements at South, and calling plays at Friday night football games.

His son, David Correll Jr., is a physical education teacher at South who remembered his father having “little mini pep rallies” early in the morning, getting a sudden idea in a rush of school spirit, and turning on South music or the “Rocky” soundtrack.

“There’s nothing like growing up with a guy who dedicates his life to something,” said Correll Jr., who is one of many people now carrying on his spirit.

The senior Correll said in the film that he hopes to be remembered as someone who was a positive impact on the lives of the students he interacted with.

“Maybe they could be a little bit more enthusiastic. Maybe they could have a little bit more hope. Maybe they could have a little bit more faith in themselves. That’s what I hope my impact was,” he said.

See Levine’s feature at the top of this article, or click here to watch it on YouTube.

Original article: David Correll, A Toms River Schools ‘Institution’, Dies At 83

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