Tragedies hit our community hard

February 7th, 2011

Jan and I are stunned by the recent tragedies that claimed the lives of young men in our community who were far too young, and full of too much hope for the future, to be taken from us.

We were still mourning last week's tragic deaths of two of our University of Oregon students, Collin La More and Ellis Heyer. Then we learned of the death of a loyal Duck, Ryan von Klein, who died unexpectedly last Tuesday at age 32. I met Ryan and his young son at a UO basketball game. His smile, and his joy in spending time with his son were infectious.

And now two more – South Eugene High School students Connor Ausland and Jack Harnsongkram. Connor and Jack were close to many in our University of Oregon family. They were seniors, ready to take on the world. The world needed them.

We share the grief of the family and friends of Collin, Ellis, Ryan, Connor, and Jack. It hurts writing their names here. We will strive to honor their memory by living each day to its fullest.

With heavy hearts,

Richard and Jan

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