Tonight, we lost a good friend. Jared Stene passed away at the age of 22. My deepest condolences to Jared's family, the Winona State University Community, and his wide array of friends.
I am absolutely numb right now...
I think it will still take a bit for all of this to sink in. I know that I am one of many who quite frankly, did not sleep well at all last night.
DJ, Ian and Jason have excellent tributes up at their blog.
Sally Jo at Bluestem Prairie has a tribute up as well.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jared in July of 2005, when the Minnesota State University Student Association had their annual summer meeting in Winona. I'll never forget it! Sitting the WSU Senate office with Travis Reese, Ryan Flynn, many others, I had no idea "who the funny kid was".
It was Jared.
His sense of humor was amazing. While I never had the experiences DJ, Ryan, Travis and others had, I always loved getting to one of our conferences to chat with Jared.
Jared came out and helped our State Senate campaign a few times during the 2006 elections. He helped us rock out the Dassel "Red Rooster Days" parade.
Jared was an accomplished student leader and a rising star in our society.
When my step-dad was diagnosed with lung cancer during the Senate campaign, Jared and Ryan did not hesitate to drive up from Winona to help us out. Nolan, Ryan and Jared rocked out a few long days of door knocking for us while I attended to much more important things.
That's what we all love about Jared. He was a passionate young man who gave tirelessly to efforts to make the world a better place to live.
It will always be hotdish buddy...