Touching the hearts of many

By Lara Hamdan, Editor-in-chief

There are many students who come and go throughout the halls of McCluer North. However, not all are ones to make a heartfelt impression while they are here. Former student Jake Vollmer was one who students and staff found intriguing, witty, bright and the ultimate Cardinals baseball fan.

Vollmer passed away Friday, Aug. 24 at the age of 19 from muscular dystrophy. He graduated from McCluer North last year in the class of 2012. Many of us can remember him from seeing him around school, or when we made more than 1,000 stars to help give him hope while he was in the hospital last spring. He let his advisor, Mr. Watkins know that he was very grateful for that.

“He was very happy about those stars,” Watkins said. Being his advisor, Watkins had a good relationship with Vollmer and was heartbroken when he found out about his passing.

“Jake is one of a kind with an awesome smile and a personality that is very infectious,” Watkins said. “He also had a great memory, especially with Cardinals baseball stats.”

Vollmer’s love for the Cardinals and the game created more friendships amongst students and teachers. English teacher Mr. Ryan had a special bond with Vollmer even though Vollmer was never in any of his classes.

“I never had him as a student,” Ryan said. “Instead, we were lunch line buddies – we met there, talked there, and swapped stories about the Cardinals and our own mutual love for the team and the game they play.”

Vollmer was a witty guy with a special humor. He would make sharp jokes and expressions, such as when he saw Grandma in the lunch line and tell her, “Hey baby.”  Muscular dystrophy prevented him from full use of his muscles. Although it frustrated him, he still carried himself with a positive attitude.

“Things that we take for granted, he couldn’t do,” Watkins said. “I think that Jake was very inspirational in a way by trying his hardest and remaining upbeat.”

The people here at North will certainly remember him. He was also a contributor to the Star Gazer by writing his preview on upcoming baseball seasons.

“Jake never failed to touch the hearts of anyone he met,” Ryan said. “He will be missed.”