PALMER — Five family members of Sam Foltz now have permanent memorials to the late Husker punter thanks to a Palmer tattoo artist and the generosity of the public.
Craig Necker, owner of Under Your Skin Tattoos, spearheaded a fundraising campaign to help pay for the cost of memorial tattoos for Foltz’s family members.
Foltz, who also played football at Grand Island Senior High, was killed in a car accident on July 23, 2016, near Merton, Wis. The home of his brother, Jordan Foltz, in Greeley County was burglarized in September while the family attended a Husker game honoring Sam.
Necker said he wanted to do something for the family after they have been through so much.
“They have been through a lot these past few months, so I wanted to do something to show them the Nebraska hospitality,” he said.
Necker put fliers around town in Palmer and in his shop, and the locals chipped in to show their support of the effort.
The idea was for the fundraising to be a surprise for the family, but Necker said the surprise was almost foiled.
“Somebody took a photo of the flier and posted it on Facebook,” he said. “Luckily, the Foltz family never saw it.”
The amount raised was $450, not bad for a little more than a month of fundraising.
Necker said many contributions came from customers in his shop.
“I had many clients that would drop $10 or $20 in while they were there getting their own tattoo done,” he said. “It was really nice to see all the support from everyone involved.”
Although the Foltz family didn’t wish to be interviewed, they did tell Necker they very much appreciated the donations and his surprise gift. They are also grateful to everyone for the support they have received in the past months.
The family members receiving tattoos included Sam’s brother Jordan, sisters Betsy Foltz and Caroline Perry, brother-in-law Brandon Perry and sister-in-law Marissa Foltz. The tattoos took two days this past weekend to complete because of the detail of the designs.
“They each wanted a special design to remember Sam by, and I wanted to make sure they got the best work I could do,” Necker said. “With the intricate details of their designs, many hours were put in to complete (them). That’s why it took two days.”
The tattoos ranged from a deer in a cornfield to a couple of crosses, one with a Bible verse.
When the Foltz family arrived at Necker’s shop in Palmer, they were greeted with pizza and drinks provided by Trotter’s gas station across town.
Necker said he wasn’t sure why they chose him to do these tattoos, but he was honored to help them out.
“They are a great family, and I was thrilled I got to do this for them,” he said.
Necker also said he believes the only other thing anyone could do for the Foltz family is to let them grieve in peace.
“They have been in the spotlight since Sam’s death. Then his brother’s house getting robbed,” Necker said. “Best thing to do is just leave them alone from here on and let them move on.”