By: Iyesha Puri
Jason Luther Joon-Il Park passed away on October 27, 2013 at the age of 17, but he will never be forgotten. He attended MSJ for his first two years of high school before transferring to an independent study program. Jason’s sister, Danika, shared some thoughts about her brother. “He was always a goofy character as a child, making funny faces at the camera and coining made-up words.” This attribute evolved into what he was best known for: his witty sense of humor. He had an incredible talent for telling jokes and effectively delivering punch lines. He also had a down-to-earth personality as well as a big heart.
Jason was one who could be described by all as happy-go-lucky. He was one who always lit up the room, bringing joy to everyone no matter what the circumstances were. Moreover, he was a loyal friend, a loyal son, and a loyal brother. Jason left such a strong impact on his friends and family that the “Jason Park” in them will never die. Jason Park is survived by his parents, Jay and Lisa, and his older sister Danika (MSJ Class of 2010), who will miss him the most.
Sometimes it is impossible to tell who true friends are. But with Jason, that question never had to be asked. Whether he was simply joking around and brightening everyone’s day or just going about his daily life, he always had a smile on his face. Jason had such compassionate love for what he did. Within the short 17 years he lived, he truly touched many lives and hearts.
Here are some special memories his loving friends would like to share:
“Whenever you were feeling down or gloomy, Park would naturally make you happier without even trying to. You could be in a room with him doing nothing and he would be so entertaining and you would end up having the time of your life just because he was around.”
“Park could always make a dark situation seem brighter and he would always go out of his way to make the people he loved happy. He was one of the best people that I had ever gotten to know because he radiated positivity everywhere.”
“He had a heart so warm, and so large that he could never just walk by a homeless person without giving him or her something.”
“Although many people tend to overlook the small things, they are truly what make Park such an unforgettable person. When we lost Park, we lost a brother, a part of our family. Although amazing memories were made with him, Park won’t be just memory to us. He will be a part of who we are today and who we become. Thank you for everything Jason.”
The MSJ community observed a moment of silence in the Bell Tower Quad today. A group of students, teachers, and administrators took a moment to appreciate and honor Jason Park. When Jay and Lisa (his parents) spoke to the crowd, their words were comforting and encouraging, showing their incredible resilience, courage, and determination to help the entire community celebrate their son’s life.
If you wish to share your memories about Jason Park, visit the Facebook page, In Loving Memory of Jason Park at https://www.facebook.com/pages/In-Loving-Memory-of-Jason-Park/573359569396202.
Photos: Courtesy of Park Family, Staff Writer Megan Ren