In remembrance of Jonathan Morales


Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Morales GoFundMe page

Jonathan Morales is remembered by his friends and family as a kind-hearted, genuine man.

By Claire Hettinger and Jason Chun

Jonathan Morales, 23, of Franklin Park, Illinois, and junior in LAS, is remembered as a kind man and a loyal friend.

A family member posted on Facebook, “You were a smart young man, wild and free spirited. You touched lives in a happy unexplainable way!”

His presence on campus had a positive impact on friends and faculty alike.

“When you teach at 9 a.m. three times a week, it’s tough to have students who are consistently present, awake, and ready to jump in,” Kate Ditewig-Morris, professor in communication, said.  “(But) Jon Morales was one of those students.”

Morales died Friday from injuries sustained after a fall from a balcony while celebrating Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day with friends.

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“He was a bright spot in my small business communication class — always engaged, smiling, and respectful to me and the other students in class,” Ditewig-Morris said. “Slightly older than the others, Jon was establishing himself as a solid anchor among the others.”

Like many students from the greater Chicago area, Morales was a proud fan of the Bulls and Chance the Rapper. When he had some time to himself, he enjoyed working out at the campus gyms, traveling, hanging out with friends and going to music festivals.

One family member wrote that Morales was a “happy spirited young man who loved dancing and music!” A friend posted “you were such a genuine guy.” Another friend expressed shock and disbelief on hearing the news.

“You were one of the good ones man,” they wrote.

A friend posted that the world “got a lot less bright.”

Friends and family close to Morales created a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses. As of publication, 158 people contributed to the page, and donated $8,077. The total goal is $10,000.

“We were just gaining momentum, just getting things accomplished, when it was all cut short. On behalf of the other students in class, I offer my deepest sympathies to Jon’s family. I shall miss him very, very much,” Ditewig-Morris said.

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