by Kevin Powers
The world lost a great man today. He was a leader, an educator, a friend. He taught me about Ancient Egypt and provided my first memories of learning about Shakespeare. He was my sixth grade teacher. My mother gave him his haircuts, and he became a great friend to my family. I always stopped in to say, "Hello" when he was at Mom's shop. He always offered kind conversation.
I talked to him on the phone last year. I was having a rough time figuring everything out. I was a month from college graduation. He'd known from talking to my mother that I had been studying to be a teacher. And he, with the will to help and wisdom that only the best teachers possess, called me up and offered his guidance. I feel lucky to have known a man like this.
Because Mr. Ousley was my friend and teacher and that to so many hundreds of others, he will always be with us. He loved being a teacher and was one of the great ones. He smiled every time I saw him, and he brought knowledge, care, and joy with him everywhere he went.