Thursday, February 24, 2005

Faculty, students remember a fallen member of their family 

As noted in many newspapers and blogs, three Minnesota guardsmen were killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. One of them, Jesse Lhotka, was a graduate last May from SCSU. This morning's campus paper contains reminisces of Jesse.

Lhotka graduated as a finance major from SCSU. The news of his death hit many of his friends, associates and fellow campus members, including Lhotka's advisor William Hudson, extremely hard.

"I was shocked and deeply saddened," Hudson said. "The finance majors are a family and we lost one of our own. We are a tight knit group."

Hudson said that Lhotka was great to have in class because he was always upbeat and was a very motivated student. "He was a good student and he took his work seriously," Hudson said. "He came to class every day and he was very conscientious. He had a positive attitude and a positive outlook."
David Christopherson, a finance professor at SCSU and director of Insurance Issues Research, had Lhotka in his classes and said he was an asset to the academic environment.

"Jesse was an extremely conscientious student in the two classes he had with me," Christopherson said. "Jesse was a joy to know every time he would visit you in his office. He had a unique combination of mirth and maturity and I was deeply honored to know him."
Keith Meyer said that Lhotka was a great friend.

"He was one of the best friends you could ask for," Meyer said. "He was always in a good mood. He was so spontaneous. If he gets an idea in his head, he wants to do it. If there was something going on that seems fun, he was usually there. He was one of those people that once you met him, you always knew him and he always knew you."

Meyer said that he and his friends threw a goodbye party for Lhotka's graduation from SCSU and that was the last time he got to see his friend.

"We had a little goodbye party for him, and I said to myself 'I didn't know if this would be the last time I see him�' but it obviously is," Meyer said. "I'll miss his jokes and his whole attitude."

Lhotka is survived by his wife Stacey in Alexandria. We pray for Stacey and mourn Jesse's death as well as those of his fallen comrades.

UPDATE: Newest Minnesota Organization of Bloggers member Zero-Two-Mike Soldier has lots of coverage of the event. Just keep scrolling.