Fund-raising event set for family of Inglemoor jr. football coach in coma

Duane Ranstrom has been serving the Inglemoor Junior Football program for more than 10 years, working as a coach, board member and father figure.

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2008 4:44pm
  • News

Duane Ranstrom with his son

Duane Ranstrom has been serving the Inglemoor Junior Football program for more than 10 years, working as a coach, board member and father figure.

Friends say he treated the organization like family.

It’s time for that community to give back in kind.

The 44-year-old Bothell resident suffered heart failure while attending his son’s arena football game June 7 in Snohomish. He remained in a coma and on life support at Everett’s Providence Hospital at the Reporter’s press time.

A spaghetti feed will take place June 25 in Bothell to raise funds for his wife and five children. The event begins at 5 p.m. at the Anderson Building cafeteria (18603 Bothell Way N.E.).

Organizers of the event have set a goal of bringing in $25,000.

Referees performed CPR on Duane immediately after he collapsed on the field during a stop in the game, but it took 45 minutes to resuscitate him. His brain is now swollen due to the lack of oxygen.

“We’re still praying for a miracle,” said Duane’s wife, Beckey Ranstrom. “The doctors tell us they don’t expect him to wake up. We’re expecting otherwise.”

Duane has suffered from chronic heart problems since childhood. He developed an abnormal heartbeat after undergoing valve-transplant surgery in 1998.

Doctors believe his collapse was a side effect of the medication he’s been taking for the condition, according to Beckey.

Duane began coaching with the Inglemoor Junior Football program 10 years ago.

“He jumped right into it,” Beckey said. “He read every book he could find.

“His dream was to be a high-school football coach. This is a tradition. We’re a football family.”

Duane’s wish came true this spring when Inglemoor High head football coach Frank Naish chose him to manage the school’s sophomore team.

He was coming off a successful season with the junior Viking program, where he served as head coach of the senior team and as defensive coordinator for the cub squad.

Both units went undefeated in 2007, compiling 11-0 records and winning the Greater Eastside Football Association championship for their respective divisions.

Duane had also served as president of the Inglemoor Youth Football program’s board of directors.

“He’s given so much of his time to these kids,” said fellow coach Dan Watkins. “He’s had a great impact on and off the field.”

The results were palpable, as participation in the program grew from less than 100 players to more than 250 during Duane’s tenure.

“Coaching is his passion,” said family friend Stephanie Watkins. “He loves getting back to the little guys and watching them excel once they’ve left his coaching.”

Duane’s event will include a fund-raising raffle with autographed Seattle Seahawks items, as well as a silent auction featuring two Seahawks tickets for Qwest Field’s Red Zone suites.

Donations can also be made in the form of cash and checks, as well as through a benevolent fund set up in Beckey Ranstrom’s name at Washington Mutual.

The band Circuit Riders will be providing entertainment at the event. Duane was involved with the group for several years.

University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker donated the game ball from his team’s match-up against Hawaii to Duane’s son, Dakoda, who is slated to play slot back and linebacker for Inglemoor’s sophomore team this season.

Locker was also scheduled to make an appearance at the sophomore team’s June 20 spring practice to provide encouragement for the players.

Beckey said she is grateful for the support her family has been receiving from the community.

“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “It’s hard to be on the receiving end because we’re usually the ones helping out. We’re blessed with family and friends.”

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