To my good friend, Jack

#43 on the ice, #1 in our hearts

To my good friend, Jack

I found out about Jack’s passing at around 8:10 Saturday morning. My friend from Oak Hills was over and we were set to play a game of Madden when I checked Twitter with no thought. Then I saw it, the Rest in Peace Jack tweets and the candles with the initials “JR”. I couldn’t believe it, I told my friend to give me a minute and went to my room and cried my eyes out.

Jack was definitely an Elder Man. He was the kindest, friendliest, most joyful and caring person that I have ever met. We first met seventh grade year when I started playing football for the Saint Dominic Blackhawks. For some reason, you were on the line with a heftier me, something you complained about all the time.

We didn’t really become close until sophomore year at Elder when you were in like four of my classes. Those were German, English with Mr. Grimm, Math with Mr. Oberjohann, and American History with Ralph Rust III. You were such a great guy, and I knew that I wanted to be friends with you from that moment on. Our friendship grew greater as the year went by. Junior and senior year was when it really reached its peak and you were always there for me whenever I needed anything.

If I needed help for Mr. Nie this year, you would offer it. If I needed something like a pencil, paper, or even graphing calculator batteries in Math, you would give it to me with no questions asked. You wanted me to succeed, you were one of my role models. In Journalism, I would help you with your creative videos and I really enjoyed doing that because I knew you would do the same for me in a heartbeat. Going on the German field trips with you was a pleasure, you enjoyed that Club so much.

You and I were looking forward to our April Fools articles about Frau, but the class will be doing stories about you for print instead. I just wish we could’ve worked on your next (sure to be great) video you needed assistance on.

Your talent could be seen by many, whether it was your leadership and play on the ice or your hard work in school like the self portrait for Mr. Tierney’s Lifestyles class. You put your all into everything you did.

You were also so funny and always had a smile on your face that would light up a room. I always enjoyed our goofy Frau Kraeling jokes the most. Your fist bumps, points, and hellos in the halls, as well as our daily conversations on the way to Pre-Calculus, I really looked forward to. I remember the rides to some Yearbook Clubs, you would tell me comedy the whole way and we would bump Eminem in your car.

I remember our experience at Kairos together. We weren’t in the same small group, but you always wanted to make sure that I was enjoying it as much as you were. The little things, like you saying that I was a big man when I went to get seconds, are something that I appreciate the most now. You wanted me to lead the February Kairos with you, but I forgot to sign up then, so in your honor I will be leading the April one with Will Ellerhorst.

You would never let your depression get in the way of anything. You’d still put the effort in by getting good grades and be the happiest person that you could be towards others, making their days better when they were down. That’s why this still doesn’t even seem real and I won’t ever understand why you were taken away from us so soon, but we all know that you are in a better place now.

On Thursday, you were so excited that you picked Xavier University. You showed me your college essay quote that morning in homeroom. We were both going to go there together and you were going to take Video Editing. I’m really going to miss you when I get there, but I know that you will be with me the whole way through college in spirit.

I was so glad that I got to walk with you on Friday in your last moments. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My last words to you were at the Walk near the time when they canceled it.

“Forget this, I’m going home.”

As Chris Vinel said, such a Schoenlaub thing to say.

But right now, are my final goodbyes. I have tears in my eyes writing this Jack, but know this. I will always remember you, you’ll never be off my mind. All of us at Elder are going to miss you, everything about you. You should’ve seen all the people at your Funeral today buddy, and the visitation, I’ve never seen such a crowd. I love you brother, until we meet again.

Fly High and Rest in Peace, Jack Rolfes.