Family and friends remember MSU student as loyal, genuine
Ever since he met his group of friends while living in Bryan Hall nearly three years ago, applied engineering sciences senior Jared Kavinsky has remained the glue that held them all together.
Psychology senior Michelle Rizor, who remained friends with Kavinsky after meeting him in Bryan Hall, said he immediately drew people in with his positive attitude and loyalty in friendship.
“A lot of times in college, you meet people and form relationships with them, but they’re not very deep,” Rizor said. “With Jared, it was really genuine, really real. He really didn’t like fake social relationships, and I don’t think he had any.”
Kavinsky, 21, of Hartland, Wisc., was killed in a traffic accident Thursday night near Saugatuck, Mich.
At about 8 p.m that night, Kavinsky was driving south on I-196 when he lost control of his black Honda.
He struck a median cable barrier just north of Blue Star Highway.
According a statement from Michigan State police’s Wayland post, another motorist, 62-year-old Terrence Noone, pulled over to help Kavinsky when the two were struck by an incoming car.
The roads were thick with slush, causing 26-year-old Joseph Willard to lose control of his Chevrolet Impala and hit the two men.
Kavinsky and Noone were pronounced dead at the scene.
Willard was transported to a nearby hospital after suffering serious injuries.
Rizor said Kavinsky was on his way to complete and present a long-term project for General Electric Healthcare, where he’d worked for the past two years.
He was expecting to graduate in December and planned to pursue a graduate degree.
Despite his various accomplishments, including several scholarships, Kavinsky’s mother, Jodi Kavinsky, said her son remained humble and caring about others.
“There wasn’t a pretentious bone in his body,” Jodi Kavinsky said. “He always stood up for the underdog. No matter what your special gifts were, he would make sure you felt important and included.”
MSU alumnus Griffin Vacheron, who became close with Kavinsky during his junior year, said he remained constantly dedicated to academics but never bragged about his success.
“He got very good grades, but he was not somebody that was always letting you know how dedicated he was or how driven he was,” Vacheron said.
Among his friends, Kavinsky was known a “goofball,” who would do anything to lift people’s spirits.
“He was very willing to accept things the way they are and make the best of them,” Vacheron said.
Even in the worst situations, Jodi Kavinsky said he found a way to keep it positive.
“He always knew if it was a bad situation, he would walk away with enough self confidence and sense of self to be able to make good choices,” she said. “People liked and respected him for who he was.”
At one point, he combined his drive with his compassion for others by starting Club Combo.
Members collect unwanted food other students obtained through MSU’s Combo-X-Change program and donate it to local food banks.
Kavinsky also participated in both the intramural basketball and volleyball teams throughout his time at MSU.
Jodi Kavinsky said he became passionate about music during his time at MSU, teaching himself to play guitar and taking voice lessons.
Jodi Kavinsky said she and her husband, Marc Kavinsky, plan to set up a donation-based scholarship in their son’s name.
The family will hold a visitation from 4-7 p.m. Thursday and 9:30-11:30 a.m. Friday at Harder Funeral Home in Brookfield, Wisc.
The funeral will follow.