Katzmark killed in tragic accident

Posted on 29 June 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach lifeguard community lost one of its most decorated competitors in a tragic car accident on Sunday morning.

According to reports, it appeared Konnor Katzmark, 22, was bait fishing on the bridge near Atlantic Blvd and US-1, and was struck and killed by a driver as he attempted to cross the road. There is a blind spot near the top of the bridge located near St. Coleman Church.

Katzmark started with the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Program when he was 9 years old, and in the nine years he was in the Juniors Program, he won numerous National Titles in both the paddleboard race and the distance run.

Oftentimes while watching him compete in the paddleboard races, I would think to myself that he was truly “one with the ocean,” said Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Association President Nemia Schulte. “His style and speed on the paddleboard were truly a beautiful sight to watch.”

Katzmark was also one of the “founding competitors” for Youth Team USA in the U18 Worlds Competition in Australia in 2012. He, along with Schulte’s daughter, Julia, and Coach Chris Nowviskie, were the first representatives of Team Pompano to represent the United States in the coveted international competition simply known as “Worlds.”

Afterwards, they were all honored with a proclamation from the City of Pompano Beach, along with being chosen as the Grand Marshals for the Yuletide Parade, due to their international representations of Team Pompano.

To many of us who had the privilege and honor of knowing him, Konnor was more than just a great waterman and competitor,” Schulte said. “Yes, he was a phenomenal surfer as well and he often embodied that typical “surfer dude” stance.”

Katzmark served as a professional lifeguard for both Deerfield Beach and Hollywood and was a multiple-time regional and national champion in the Rescue Board Race, 2K Beach Run, and Ironguard events.

But to those who really knew him,” she continued, “Konnor was a great friend, sibling, brother and son. He was one of the most generous persons with his time and help for others. He had an infectious ready-made smile on his face, and his charismatic prose often led many of us in fits of giggles.”

Schulte called Katzmark an “overall good guy” and even though he graduated from the Juniors Program three years ago, Katzmark still touched many of the younger Juniors’ lives, oftentimes going surfing, fishing or learning to skateboard with him.

In honor of Konnor, we request that everyone wear beach attire to both Friday and Saturday’s services,” said Schulte, who added there would be a Paddleboard Swim Out for Katzmark in the upcoming weeks as a tribute. “Beach attire would be considered board shorts and T-Shirts for the men and sundresses for the women.”

There will be a funeral visitation at Kraeer Funeral Home, 200 N. Federal Hwy., in Pompano Beach on Friday, June 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. Services will be held on Saturday, July 1 at 10 a.m. at St. Coleman Catholic Church, 1200 S. Federal Hwy., in Pompano Beach.

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