This week, we posthumously honor the late Justin Kelly, a sophomore at Lake Superior State University who passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 18. An avid supporter of Laker Hockey and an enthusiastic classmate, he was always a force to be reckoned with, his energy something everyone came to expect.
Win or lose, Justin was always front and center at Taffy Abel Arena, cheering his heart out for the Lakers. His influence on the student section is something that will never be forgotten, leaving a legacy his classmates hope to continue for years to come.
"The LSSU community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Justin. He brought great passion and energy to all he did in our community," said Damon Whitten, head hockey coach. "When you were lucky enough to run into Justin on campus or at a hockey game you could feel his energy for all things LSSU. His passion, energy, and friendship will be deeply missed. All of us at LSSU and with Laker hockey would like to share our deepest sympathies to the Kelly family and all those affected by this tragic loss."
"Justin was the kind of person who always made sure those around him were doing okay, no matter what kind of day he was having," said Cassie Merritt, a senior at LSSU. "He cared so much about this school and was someone you could count on for being front and center to cheer our athletic teams on. He is going to be missed by so many."
Justin, 20, who was from Milford Township, Mich., studied fire science at LSSU. He was an active member of the National Guard.
"As a campus community, we mourn the loss of an energetic young man," said LSSU President Peter T. Mitchell. "His enthusiasm touched so many at LSSU, particularly his passionate cheering at hockey games. Justin was a member of the National Guard and is admired for his special ability to bring students together promoting Laker pride."
Professor Mary Jo Meehan said, "Justin and members of the Fire Science cohort would come to class a half an hour before it began to have a 'pre-seminar' before the university seminar, usually playing videos of fires. Justin was an exuberant young man."