Tom Lacina Talks Search, Support, Remembering His Son
ISU Student Found Dead In Former Dairy Barn
POSTED: 2:53 pm CDT April 18, 2010
UPDATED: 5:14 pm CDT April 22, 2010
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa State University officials and Jon Lacina's family planted a tree Thursday in memory of the student who went missing and was later found dead.
Jon Lacina's father, Tom, spoke Thursday at the memorial ceremony before the family and ISU students planned a tree in Jon's honor. Tom Lacina said the tree would be a constant reminder of Jon.
"Reminds us, I think, that we wanted to remember who Jon was and the delight he brought to our lives as a family, plus as the campus community," said Tom Lacina, Jon's father at the ceremony on Thursday. "As a reminder every day that he was here. And the consequence of his live will go on just like all of us who will someday not be here and we hope that that consequences goes on."
Jon Lacina was found dead in an abandoned building on the old ISU dairy farm. Authorities said it would be weeks until they have enough evidence from the autopsy and other tests to determine how he died.
Lacina, a graphic design major, was last seen leaving a campus gathering on Jan. 22. Friends thought he was heading home, but the barn where he was found is in the opposite direction.
The tree was planted Thursday outside the ISU College of Design where Lacina attended classes. More than 125 people attended the ceremony. Lacina's father, mother and brother helped plant the red oak tree.
Tom Lacina talked to KCCI on Thursday about the search for his son.
"Within 24 hours, they had already conducted a search with over 100 people, professionals and they continued diligently until the day they found Jon's body," said Tom Lacina.
Tom Lacina also talked about the support the family has received from the ISU community and people across Iowa.
"I probably have over a foot of letters from people very concerned from across the state of Iowa and wanting to support us in practical ways, but also just emotionally," said Tom Lacina.
Tom Lacina also talked about how he wants people to remember his son.
"The last two hours or three hours of his life doesn't define 21 years. So what everybody should take away is, is what they shared with him while he was living life fully. And that's what, if he was standing here beside me, he would say 'yes, that would be correct,'" said Tom Lacina.
The memorial service gave friends, family and colleagues a chance to grieve and remember Lacina as a hard-working student.
"Each day in class he would quietly go about his work, guided by his intuitive sense of design. We will always remember his bright friendly smile and we are honored to have worked with him as his instructors," said Professor Paul Bruski.
"Jon was not only an amazing friend, but a very talented artist. The smiles he brought to out faces and the memories made will never be forgotten," said Parker Peterson.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Grinnell at 10:30 a.m. Friday [4/23], followed by a public luncheon with the family.
Memorial donations can be made to the Jon Lacina Arts Fund at the Grinnell Area Arts Council, P.O. Box 657 in Grinnell, 50112.
Jon Lacina's obituary talked about his passion for art, music, nature, Legos, video games and great food. It said family and friends knew him as a quiet and sensible artist and musician, with a pleasant wit and an easy smile.
April 22, 2010
A red oak tree was planted on the Iowa State University campus today to commorate the life of Jon Lacina. The following article appeared on KCCI.com today:
at 11:11 PM