Alpha Phi Omega mourns the loss of member, graduate


Members of Alpha Phi Omega hold candles commemorating Krzysztof Jablonski’s life. Jablonski was an active member in the service fraternity.

He loved smiling. He loved Super Smash Brothers, Settlers of Catan and having fun, but most of all, Krzysztof Jablonski loved Alpha Phi Omega — his service fraternity.

On Sunday, a crowd of about a hundred of his fraternity brothers and sisters joined with other campus friends to commemorate his life, because on Friday, Jablonski was pronounced dead after falling from his apartment complex at Park Place Tower, 202 E. Green St.

The Champaign County Coroner and the Champaign Police Department are still investigating the circumstances of Jablonski’s death.

The crowd gathered around a table of Jablonski’s belongings, holding small candles, dribbling wax on the pavement in front of Noyes Laboratory as Jablonski’s friends shared fond memories.

“As a servant, he selflessly dedicated his time toward elevating the communities that he was a part of,” said Vikram Reddy, brother from APO, as he read from the ceremony sheet. “Many knew him for his big dreams, everyone knew him for his open arms.”

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On the table, Jablonski’s graduation ropes and sash drooped off the side along with several other of his belongings, including a picture of him smiling his typical chin-to-chin smile and a box that held a growing pile of letters addressed to Jablonski’s family.

APO is a service fraternity with over 700 members at the University chapter alone, and Jablonski spent much of his time during the fall semester helping some of the new pledges integrate into the group and grow as leaders, said Justin Martin, one of four advisors to APO.

“He was a tremendous student and he’s really going to be missed. The fact that over a hundred students who were not here — who had already gone home — came back to campus says a lot about the impact that he has had.”

When Jablonski first joined APO as a sophomore, he stood out to Martin.

“His competitiveness — oh my God,” he said with a laugh.

Brian Rooney, another member of the fraternity, was in Jablonski’s retreat group. He held meetings with Rooney and other members from the group and spurred discussion, growth and competition at recreational sporting events.

“One of the most memorable things I can remember of him is when at one of the meetings in the auditorium, the Eagles were in last place and Krzysztof was not very happy with that,” Rooney said. “He dressed up with golden wings and these tiny, tiny shorts and he ran … he came through absolutely shameless.”

Jablonski showed him how to live, both in and outside the fraternity. And Rooney’s not the only one, the dozen or so other speakers echoed the lessons Jablonski taught them.

“Ever since then I’ve definitely had a little more pride in taking on a lot of different things from APO,” Rooney said. “And it’s because he was not afraid to do something stupid or silly or fun because life is too short to not.”

Austin can be reached at [email protected] or @austinkeating3.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Justin Martin’s name.