UCCS mourns the loss of students, faculty member
Published: Monday, April 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 02:04
UCCS mourns the loss of two students and one faculty member over the past several weeks.
Dane Vogel, 27, of St. Louis, Mo., a senior studying geography and environmental studies, died March 20 of natural causes. Dane’s family has conveyed to the campus how much Dane loved the mountains and the friends he made at UCCS while studying and living his dreams. His funeral service was March 27 at his home in St. Louis, Mo. To see his obituary and to share your condolences, please visit tributes.com/show/Dane-Matthew-Vogel-93477457.
Wesen Mekonnen, 31, a senior accounting student in the College of Business, died March 26 from injuries she suffered in a car accident. Wesen’s remains will be returned to her native Ethiopia; a memorial to assist with this effort has been established. For more information, and to see her obituary and to share your condolences, please visit tributes.com/show/Wesen-Mekonnen-93519754.
Edward Kelbel, director of the UCCS Professional Golf Management program and teacher in the College of Business, passed away suddenly of natural causes in Dwire Hall on March 28. Kelbel, 52, was loved immensely by his family, friends and colleagues, both in Colorado Springs and his native state of Michigan. Mollie Sutherland, assistant director, will serve as acting director of the program. To see his obituary and to share your condolences, please visit legacy.com/obituaries/gazette/obituary.aspx?n=edwardpaulkelbel&pid=156800266&fhid=6111.
Editor’s Note: Ryan Adams, a student in the Professional Golf Management program and reporter for The Scribe, had his own story to share about the impact that Ed Kelbel had on his academic career at UCCS.
If I were to describe what Ed Kelbel meant to not only me, but the countless lives he has touched over the years, I don’t think I could do it in just this article. No, if I were to describe Ed Kelbel, I think it would have to be in a book the length of some of the “Harry Potter” books that have hit the shelves over the recent years.
Ed was a one-of-a-kind person, and he will be greatly missed. Yet, knowing Ed the past couple years, he wouldn’t want us to be sad.
No, he would want us to buck up and be happy. All I can think of is that big grin he always had on when he would see us stroll into the PGM suite on the third floor of Dwire Hall. That positive, go get ‘em attitude paired with a corny joke or two got everyone around him to smile right back and tell him how their day was going.
Knowing that, I believe Ed would want us to be just as joyful as he always was, even though it will be hard to do now that he isn’t here with us.
Every golf management student has a memorable story or two about Ed, but one that I will never forget happened in October at the Broadmoor Mountain Course.
I had just passed my playing ability test the day before down in Pueblo, and was glowing, wanting to let everyone know how I did. Ed had thought, due to the extremely windy conditions, that no one had passed and was disappointed some of the students had to play in such harsh golfing weather.
While he was talking about this, I was on the practice green, putting around, telling people left and right what had happened yesterday. Word got to Ed that one person actually passed yesterday, and the moment he found who it was, I will never, ever forget. “Ryan passed yesterday?! Ryan, get over here and give big old Ed a hug!” he shouted over to me.
That loving, caring, father-like Ed wasn’t afraid of the consequences of shouting on a putting green. One of his students had just a life-changing moment, and he wanted everyone to know. That was Ed, “in a nutshell,” as he would always say.
I remember like it was yesterday the first time I met Ed Kelbel. He sat down with us and I liked him the moment I met him. That smile from ear-to-ear and comforting, father-like voice telling my mom he would take care of me and watch over me was something I’ll never forget.
Ed was the first person I met at UCCS, and he treated me like I was the most important person in the world. That was Ed for you, always caring for you before himself.
To say Ed will be greatly missed is quite an understatement, but knowing him and getting to know his family over the past couple days, he wouldn’t want us to be sad.
He would want us to bring the same joy to others as he brought to us. And that, we as his family, friends and colleagues, will do.