Editorial: Remembering our friend Jon


Joellen Desautels

A candle illuminates Jon Knoll’s photo at a memorial service on campus on Dec. 13.

Megaphone Staff

The Irish community lost another student, brother, son, teammate and friend when senior Jonathon Knoll tragically passed away in the early hours of Dec. 13. The Class of ‘21, still continuing to mourn and remember the life of Mario McCullough, lost Jonathon in a tragic single-person single-car accident.

Just when 2020 could not have seemed to have gotten harder on the Cathedral family and the world, God decided to take another one of his children home prematurely. The Cathedral family gathered for an Advent service later that day that was previously planned for juniors only, but adapted for the whole of the Cathedral community to remember, gather and grieve the passing of Jon.

An email from Principal Mrs. Julie Barthel encouraged everyone to reach out, as she wrote, “Counselors will all be available for help and support for students and educators.” Barthel added, “Keep Jonathon’s family in your prayers as they go through this unimaginable tragedy.”

As similar to the situation in which the school was placed in last spring, on lockdown and unable to bring all of its people together to commemorate the life of Mario, the current lockdown may prevent us from coming together in person soon to celebrate Jon. While specific remembrances have not been planned yet, we ask that you would continue to keep Jon in your thoughts and prayers and reach out, talk and support those around you who are struggling after the recent shock.

As always, the counseling department’s doors are open to any and every student who wishes to talk with a trained adult. If not comfortable with that, we emplore you to talk with friends and family and let those close to you know your love and care for them, because if this year has taught us anything, it is that we must live life gratefully for every day God blesses us with.

To the Class of ‘21: We as a Cathedral family feel and share in your pain of losing another classmate and friend. Find ways to connect with friends and as a class, whether outside of school, or by coming together on the Hill for something like the Advent services, as nothing is more important than staying connected and reaching out to those who are hurting.

Jon, a member of the soccer team his freshman through junior years, was such a valued and cherished part of the family at Cathedral, and losing him undoubtedly is as hurting as it is shocking. By loving and being present for each other in our time of grieving and mourning, we can strengthen each other to get through this tragedy together.

For those of you who did not have the pleasure of knowing Jon, a friend of Jon’s, senior Jameson Browne, shared a few words about his friend and what he meant to those close to him.

“Before truly understanding Jon, his friends had to gain his trust. He was always a quiet kid, but once he knew you, Jon was someone that was always able to bring a smile to your face. He never was very loud, but he knew the right time to crack a joke that would bring people to tears laughing.”

Some of the many activities Jon enjoyed were skiing and fishing. He would regularly drive to Perfect North with his friends and hit the slopes all day. Throughout high school, Jon developed into an entrepreneur. He would sell comic books or Supreme merchandise on the internet to make some money.

“His friends will always remember that laugh and smile that he carried around throughout his life,” Browne said. “No one ever knew what prank he might be planning next, and he really was always planning something. The friendships he made will never be forgotten, and he will always be remembered for the positivity he spread to anyone that knew him.”

We do know that while we are grieving and struggling with this recent loss, Jon would want us to have that same small smile everyone knew him by and to stay positive. The best we can do is to remember his life while keeping those closest to him in our prayers. While Jon might have been called away from us, we know he will be cherished by the Irish community as long as we continue to remember and celebrate what of Jon’s life God blessed us with.