March 17, 2008
The Notre Dame Monogram Club lost two of its members since the beginning of the year.
Former All-American and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Groom died March 1 in Sarasota. He was 78. Groom captained the 1950 Irish squad and was a three-year starter at center and linebacker for Frank Leahy’s teams from 1948-50.
Groom was instrumental in coordinating fundraising for the Frank Leahy sculpture that stands just outside Notre Dame Stadium as well as for the Frank Leahy Memorial Scholarship program which has benefited 33 Notre Dame students since 1997.
James Easter Heathman, who as a teenager raced to a field near his family’s central Kansas farm to find the plane crash that killed Knute Rockne, died in January at the age of 90.
Heathman had served as the unofficial caretaker of the Knute Rockne plane crash site near Bazaar, Kan, for over 25 years. In addition to giving free tours of the site to hundreds of people from all over the United States, Heathman helped organize three Rockne Memorial Ceremonies.
Heathman was presented an honorary monogram on September 8, 2006, during the Notre Dame-Penn State pep rally in Notre Dame Stadium.
— ND —