Two years later, he’s still our brother


Members of the 2014-15 Kentucky Kernel staff pose for a picture at a Christmas party. Former photo editor Jonathan Krueger is pictured in the middle, sporting a hat and holding up the peace sign.

Kernel Staff '14-15

Editor’s note: Two years ago, our newspaper and our community lost a kind friend, a devoted brother and a champion of the free spirit. We hope that on days like today everyone will remember Jonathan Krueger as the goofy, sweet kid who took life by the handlebars and dove in, full of courage, unphased by any obstacle.

Sincerely, The Kernel Staff ’14-15

Adam Pennavaria, Photo Editor ’14-15

Jonathan was the type who could bring a positive outlook to any negative situation. He was a personification of the phrase “every cloud has a silver lining.” 

One time, he was showing me a video of him biking that he had taken with his GoPro. At one point in the video, he fell off of his bike pretty hard after taking a turn too sharply. I gasped, “oh my God, are you okay?” He just lifted the leg of his shorts to show me the injuries, and chuckled, saying, “yep, nothing I haven’t seen before.”

It was an honor to work alongside Jonathan and to call him one of my closest friends. No words I could write can truly depict what a joy he was in the lives of all those around him. We love and miss you always, JKru.

Annie Dunbar, Sports Editor  ’14-15

Two years. Two years without your contagious laugh, adventurous spirit and drive to live life to the fullest every single day. If there was one thing I could go back in time and tell you, it would be “thank you.”   

Thank you for an endless supply of laughs and selfies, trips for Chipotle burrito bowls and belting out Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” with me entirely too many times. Thank you for showing me what it means to be adventurous, always encouraging me to break out of my comfort zone and for our endless talks about our dreams and ambitions.

Thank you for a friendship that I will always cherish.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think of you and the impact you had on my life. You were truly one of a kind. Love you always.

Madison Gunter, Design Editor ’14-15

From all of the off-key solos, silly arguments and jokes, to throwing paper wads at the design desk, the newsroom was always a blast with you. Your ability to make us smile and your genuine care for others was one-of-a-kind. I’ll never forget the memories and laughter you gave me. Thank you for being my friend.

Michael Reaves, Staff Photographer ’14-15

Two years later working games and in the office without Jonathan isn’t the same. On that day two years ago we lost a coworker, a student, a brother and, above all else, a friend. We can’t get that time back but we can use the lessons about living life to the fullest he taught us, as we live life going forward. Until we are all reunited in heaven one day Jonathan, keep taking selfies for us to catch us up on the party we are missing up there and we will hold on to the memories of our time together that we have down here.

Kevin Erpenbeck, Sports Editor ’14-15

Krueger, thank you for being our light-hearted comedian, constantly making us laugh with your stories and jokes.

Thank you for being a great photographer, making the stories we wrote so much more interesting with your amazing images.

Thank you for being such a trooper, driving Kyle and me all the way to Florida and not complaining about it one bit.

Thank you for your infectious smile, which constantly uplifted our spirits even on the hardest days.

But most of all, thank you for being such a great and wonderful friend. You were always there for us and we’ll love you forever for that.

Josh Huff, Sports Editor ’14-15

It was during my final year at the University of Kentucky that I really got to experience what it meant to know Jonathan Krueger. In that short span of time, we spent countless hours on the road traveling to football games in Missouri and Tennessee and to basketball games in Cleveland, Indianapolis and Nashville. Though a year might seem like a blink of an eye, it was a year in which Krueger managed to get a group of us lost in Nashville, a year in which we toured St. Louis, a year in which we booked a hotel room in an indoor water park, a year in which he proudly showed off his hometown — where we gambled, toured his parents’ floral business and attempted to throw a football during a blustery snowstorm on the beach of Lake Erie. 

Throughout that year, my experiences with Krueger seemed like just that, experiences. But with the passing of time, those experiences have morphed into fond memories that serve to remind me of how much of an impact Krueger has left upon those that were blessed enough to find themselves in his presence.

Morgan Eads, Editor-in-Chief ’14-15

It seems only fitting that the new “Fast and Furious” came out this week. Not only did you talk obsessively about those movies, you had a certain fast and furious way of living your life.

Whether you were convincing Liz and me that it was totally reasonable to join you on the six mile hike through Nashville in our high-heels or whipping around Lexington in that Xterra like you were channeling Dom himself, you managed to bring so many others along on your “YOLO” inspired ride.

It was a ride cut way, way too short, but you certainly made the most of it. Thanks for letting us tag along.

Marjorie Kirk, Assistant Opinions Editor ’14-15

I’m not sure what I miss most: the way you butchered all of my favorite songs, the way you used the bounce a ball over my head until I gave up trying to focus on work or all the times you had my back when I got stuck in the cold without a jacket or needed someone to finish all my leftover French fries. I didn’t tell you enough, but thanks for being our goofy friend. We love you and miss you.

Anne Halliwell, News Editor’14-15

The Kernel felt more like a family than any other student group I’ve joined. Jonathan helped nurture that feeling every day. Sometimes the best way to show caring is by reminding the people around you to smile, and Jonathan was the absolute best at keeping spirits high. I’m sure he’s making the most of whatever comes next.

Cheyene Miller, Assistant News Editor ’14-15

When you work at The Kentucky Kernel, you’re part of a family. I know that I’ll never forget the family member we had in you, Jonathan. Everybody likes to think that they live their lives to the fullest, but you actually embodied that mentality. Everyone who knew you lost a light in their lives when you left, and we’re still mourning the loss of that light two years later. Thank you for showing us how to make the most out of every moment.