Friday, April 17, 2015

Jon Krueger

How do I even begin to write something when I am at a complete loss for words? This morning after coming home from class, I received a text from Ben Thompson asking if he could call me. Nothing totally out of the ordinary, but I knew it was late in Kentucky so it was a little strange. My heart immediately dropped when I answered the phone and he said to me "Carli. I have to tell you something." He went on to tell me that one of our very good friends, Jon Krueger had just been walking home and got shot and killed by people trying to rob him. In complete shock, I didn't know what to say and I didn't want to believe it. My heart was broken. As I sat there and watched Ben start sobbing, I couldn't hold back my tears. All I could do is try to believe that this hadn't happened. I just repeatedly said "no." After Ben reassured me that it was true, we cried together for a good while. I didn't know what to say or do, but just cry with him. For the next four hours, and in this very second, I can do nothing but cry. I still cannot wrap my mind around what has happened, but the only thing to do is remember Jon as the amazing person that he was and pray for God to hold us in this time.


You were one of the first people I became friends with at UK. I still remember the first times we were around each other. All I knew about you was that Luke liked you so I knew you must be a good guy. I remember being with you, Luke and Natalie constantly. There was never a time when one of us wasn't together. What was amazing was that you still hung out with us even though we loved making fun of your northern Ohio accent. Gah, I'm going to miss that accent. And that smile. Even when we were making fun of you, you still were smiling. Even through all of your knee pain, you still smiled. I can't picture you at all without that smile.

I loved looking for you at every sporting event. You were always there, on the sidelines with your camera. I could pick you out even from the last row at the very top of Rupp Arena. I could pick you out in a sea of orange in Knoxville watching Kentucky play football. I could spot you through the whole student body on State Street. You were always ready and willing to take photos for me. Thank you for that. The Kernel lost the best photographer they've ever had today.

I remember one of the last times I spent with you. I was in the Student Center grabbing lunch and all of the seats were taken at the Beta table so you got up and moved just to sit with me so I wouldn't have to eat alone. We talked about how I would be going abroad and how you were considering going abroad next year. My heart breaks as I think about how you won't get to do that. I'll never understand why you left this Earth so soon. You had so much life in you and were always ready to do anything. I would give anything to have one more lunch with you. Just one more conversation, take one more picture.

I will never understand why this has happened. We live in such a cruel world and today one of the best guys I've ever known has died for no reason at all. I would give anything to be with my friends who are grieving right now. Ben Thompson, Ben Connor, Natalie, Tyler, Ashley, Luke, Hayden, Brendan, Grant, Joey and so many more please know that I would give anything to be able to give you each a big hug right now. I would fly home in a heartbeat just to sit and cry with you all today. I love you all so much and am keeping you in my prayers along with Jon's whole family. God is with us even when we are in the midst of a tragedy. "The storms in life prove the strength of our Anchor".

Thank you for all the good times, the smiles, and the laughs, Jon. You will always be in our hearts and will not be forgotten. We love you.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18


  1. I am so sorry for this great loss He sounds like such a wonderful young man I just wish I could've known him I love you sweet girl !!! Hugs Donna

  2. You are such a great writer .... What a tribute to this young man...he was lucky to have you as a friend. Love you sweet Carli.

  3. Don't know if you got my last comment.. Anyway, what a tribute you gave your friend. He was lucky to have known you honey. Love you sweet Carli.

  4. Continuing to pray for you and your loss... God will heal your hurt honey...thank Him for the great memories. Love you.