Retherford has dedicated his life to the education of youth


Tim Retherford, the Executive Director of Neighborhoods Against Substance Abuse. Tom Russo photo/Daily Reporter.

While their playing days might be over, the lessons Hancock County’s community leaders learned on the sports fields continue to guide them today. In this week-long series, we look back on the positive effect athletics had on their lives.

GREENFIELD – “When I get back, we’ll play a game.”

Those words have lived with Tim Retherford every day since March of 1981.

Before traveling to Buffalo, New York, for leukemia treatment, Tim Retherford’s father offered up that brief reassurance to his six-year-old son, who was standing outside of the family’s Greentown, Indiana, home, basketball in hand.

“Unfortunately our game is on hold,” said Retherford, whose father lost his battle with leukemia on April 1, 1981. “But we will play that game one day in heaven.”

Sons who lose their fathers at a young age often spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to make their departed dads proud.

“I would say it’s had an impact on the decisions I’ve made and the path I’ve taken. I was six, almost 7-years-old, and it’s a hard thing to understand at that age,” Retherford said of his father’s death. “My son is seven, and I can relate to that age. As I’ve gone through my decisions and our decisions as a family, you realize none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. You have to make the most of the time you have here.”

As a sophomore playing junior varsity hoops at Eastern Howard High School in Greentown, Retherford found a mentor in varsity coach Duane Keisling, though Keisling left for an administrative position prior to Retherford’s junior season.

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