SIKESTON - Nathan Allan Rettig, 13, died at 11:45 a.m. April 9, 2004, at Missouri Delta Medical Center of injuries sustained in a 4-wheeler accident near Miner.
Born Jan. 14, 1991, in Cape Girardeau, son of Allan and Karen Scheffer Rettig of Sikeston, he was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and a seventh grade student at Kelly Junior High School in Benton.
Known as "Kid Smooth" by his fans at the Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway in Calvert City, Nathan began his racing career in 1996 at the Sikeston Race Park, when he was 5 years old, becoming points champion on the Junior Go-Kart class. He competed at age 7 in 1998 with the World Karting Association Junior One Class, when he won 17 features. He finished eighth out of 50 karts at WKA. After earning six feature wins in the Go-Kart class at the Sikeston Race Park, Nathan began junior sprint car racing in go-cart racing.
In 2001, he competed with the National Modified Midget Association and set four track records for qualifying at R-K Raceway, Southern Illinois Raceway, Cole County Raceway and Camden Raceway. Nathan was No. 1 in the nation with his junior sprint car. He later advanced in class to full-size Stock Car/Pure Street Class, and in his first race finished sixth in a field of 32 cars (the seventh race finished second out of 32).
At 11, Nathan took nine checker flags at the Malden Speedway and was points champion. He went on to Benton, Dyersburg, Tenn., Milan, Tenn., and Harrisburg, Ark. After his father bought a late model car in 2002, Nathan began racing in the Limited Late Model Class, where he has won the checker flag four times racing against the adult drivers. He finished first out of 17 cars at the Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway in Calvert City.
Survivors in addition to his parents include: one brother, Austin Rettig of the home; his paternal grandparents, Harold and Mary Rettig of Sikeston; maternal grandparents, Clem and Evelyn Scheffer of Sikeston; and aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Nunnelee Funeral Chapel.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church with the Rev. Stephen Schneider, pastor, officiating.
Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery in Sikeston.