The spring of 2015 was a good time to be a Riewer.
The youngest of four siblings, Jordan Riewer, was leading the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons deep into the NCAA Division II men's basketball national playoffs.
The family borrowed a friend's RV and road-tripped to Indiana to watch Jordan and the Dragons play in the school's only Elite 8 appearance.
The five years Jordan played in Moorhead were some of the best times to be a Riewer and some of the closest, said Aaron Otteson, the eldest sibling of the group.
Distance, time nor schedules matter when it comes to the Riewer family. They support each other, their teammates, their coaches and community.
Now they could use the community's support.
Kim Riewer-the keystone of the Riewer family, the reason the Riewers are who they are-died Oct. 27 after a long road with breast cancer. The loss will be widespread in the sporting community, for the Riewers' influence spans across the lakes area. Many know John Riewer for his tireless hours of coaching baseball, softball, basketball and cross-country at Staples-Motley and most recently Pine River-Backus.
Many people know of Jordan's exploits on the basketball court or baseball diamond at Staples-Motley High School and in college. Maybe people are familiar with Malerie (Riewer) Klabo helping the Central Lakes College Raiders softball team to success.
Maybe it's because of Aaron's ability to do anything athletically from bowling a 300, winning the Brainerd Family YMCA men's basketball league every year to owning Wifflefest annually.
Or maybe it's Jolene (Otteson) Owen, who starred at Dassel-Cokato before moving to the lakes area and becoming a teacher and coach at Brainerd.
Behind most good coaches and every sports-minded, community-oriented family is that dedicated partner behind the scenes. That's who Kim Riewer was.
"As a mom, she was kind, gentle, hardworking and so strong," Jolene said. "My sister and I were of course, perfect, but my brothers could tell you a few stories. As a fan, well she was our No. 1 fan. She supported us all of the time, not only in sports but in everything we did.
"As a friend, she was my best friend. She was funny, honest and trustworthy. But she was not just my friend, she was a friend to all of my teammates and supported us all equally. "
As stated before, Aaron wins at everything and one of his fondest memories was back in 1998 and 1999 with his mom.
"Myself, Jolene, Mom, Dad all played on a co-rec softball team," Aaron said. "In 1998 and 1999, we won back-to-back state titles. We had lots of fun playing ball together. My mom loved slow-pitch softball."
Aaron said it wasn't just an athletic venue that brought out the competitiveness of the Riewers. Board games, yard games, card games, an annual Fourth of July Olympics at the cabin, anything and everything was a competition. Everything except who was in charge.
"For me, Mom was just incredible," Jordan said. "She was the real coach at home and she got things done. I honestly don't know how she did what she did for so many years with all of us kids. Mom was always kind of like a superwoman to me because I swear you could ask her to do something or be somewhere and she would always try to make it work and you would never hear her make an excuse about anything."
Malerie now has two children under the age of 2 with her husband and Brainerd grad Chris Klabo. She doesn't know how her mom did it.
"She was Super Mom," Malerie said. "She was amazing and did everything possible. I'm going to tell my kids she took one day at a time and made sure we were all taken care of.
"I don't know how she did it. With four of us, she literally was Superwoman. I struggle just taking us to the store and she made it so easy and I keep going back to that. She made it work with four kids and I only have two."
Jolene said during the sporting seasons it wasn't just four children. Kim's Super Mom instincts spilled over to teammates.
"My mom always supported me in everything I did," Jolene said. "But she was not just a sports mom who supported me. She was a sports mom to all of my teammates."
Malerie called it an open-door policy for any and all teammates. Jordan found that an admirable trait of his mother.
"Another thing I always respected about Mom was she would always go out of her way to get to know some of the others on the teams that we were on," Jordan said. "We weren't the only story. Every player had their own story with Mom."
And Kim's story will live on with her children and now five grandchildren, who are being taught exactly what Kim taught her children.
"After a rough game, she was always there to listen," Jolene said. "Even though her outlook of the game was not always the same as the coaches, she always taught us to respect, listen and do what the coach tells us.
"Also, she encouraged us to go to the coach if we ever had any issues instead of her trying to solve our issues for us. That is exactly what I tell my children."
For Malerie, it will be about being there.
"She never missed a sporting event, whether it was my dad's or one of us," Malerie said. "There was always something going on and she made it work. Even if she was stressed, she never showed that side. It was part of our normal lifestyle. She did it so well it was just kind of the norm.
"She still played that mom part. If we had late nights, she still made sure dinner was ready. She still kept that mom atmosphere in the household. Even if we didn't get home until late at night, there was still dinner ready for us. She made sure clothes were washed. I still don't know how she did it, but if she could do it with four kids, it just shows me I can do it with two."
A Mass of Christian burial for Kim will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Staples, with Father Gabriel Walz officiating. Visitation for family and friends will be 4-8 p.m. Friday at the church and again one hour prior to Mass.