A Life in Brief: Jonathan W. Cuperus, June 7, 1980 - December 31, 2003

For newlyweds Jon and Jessica Cuperus, what began as a casual evening with friends at their Palos Hills apartment on December 31 ended with Jon's sudden and unexpected death. Efforts to revive him after he collapsed around 9 p.m. were unsuccessful; he was pronounced dead at Palos Community Hospital. Jon Cuperus was 23 years old.

The only son of Evan and Shirley Cuperus of Jenison, Michigan, Jon graduated from Trinity with degrees in history and political science in 2003. He and his wife, Jessica Vander Laan '03, were married on May 31 at Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest. As a student, Jon worked in the athletics department as coordinator for intramurals and game manager for men's and women's volleyball, soccer, and basketball, taking responsibility for setting up the gym, making sure student workers were in place, and announcing during the games. 

"He was a very conscientious, hard worker," said coach Sue Gasperec. "The coaches could always depend on him to get things done; we never had to worry before a game because Jon would take care of things. He was a valuable asset to our department, and will be missed by all of us."

When the opportunity to work for Trinity as an admissions counselor became available last June, Jon applied for the position because he believed that God wanted him to be here. "He loved the College and loved serving the Lord, and wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on young people," said Pete Hamstra, vice president for advancement and admissions. Jon traveled to many states to meet prospective students in his territory, which included Arizona, California, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. He was looking forward to accompanying the Praise Team on their tour through the southwest in January.

"Jon was a great guy to work with," said Josh Lenarz '98, director of admissions. "Whatever he did, he always did with his whole heart. Everyone here will miss his upbeat personality and positive attitude. He had so much energy and enthusiasm for Trinity and wanted to make a difference in kids' lives." 

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