(See below for Feb. 20 update)
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Newman Center will sponsor a public service for Lake Superior State University student Justin Kelly at 8 p.m. Feb. 19. Due to the outpouring of support, the service will be at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 606 E. 4th Avenue in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Kelly, a sophomore from Milford Township, Mich., died unexpectedly on Feb. 18.
Center Director Father Mike Chenier welcomes all to attend and said, “We’ll have a service to pray for the repose of his soul and to pray for his family as they walk through this time.”
Students and members of the campus community remember Justin as an enthusiast supporter of Laker athletics and his university.
“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.”
Grief counselors are on campus today from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Peacock Cove located in the Walker Cisler Center. LSSU Counseling Services is welcoming calls and visits for those seeking support.
Kelly, 20, was a sophomore from Milford Township, Mich., who studied fire science at Lake Superior State University. 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.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced when they are finalized. LSSU is planning to honor his life on campus for students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Feb. 20 Update – Services for Justin Kelly are Saturday, March 3, at St. Mary Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, 1955 E. Commerce Road, Milford, Mich. Visitation is 10:30-11:30 a.m., with funeral mass at 11:30 a.m. A luncheon at the church will follow.