To Ryan Lewis, Jon Wadsworth was more than a roommate.
He was a best friend, a confidant, somebody with a similar sense of humor, and somebody who made everybody’s lives better.
“We used to joke and talk in puns. For us, that was our language,” Lewis said. “We just bonded about it. It’s one thing I’ll never forget. It made him and our friendship – so unique. He’d walk into a room and brighten everyone’s day.”
The St. Johns senior was found dead Tuesday by police, and his loss has shaken the Central Michigan University community. That’s evident by the near 100 people who showed up to a vigil Thursday night, despite the rain and cold weather, to honor the life of a friend they all described as irreplaceable.
Also remembered as kind, compassionate and always willing to lend a hand, about a dozen friends took turns speaking fondly of Wadsworth’s impact on their lives.
“He was just always so passionate for people that he made everybody seen, even if they didn’t want to be,” said Port Huron senior Anne Russ. “He truly made an attempt to get to know people.”
Students told stories about Wadsworth’s impact on their lives, many of which described his personable and inclusive nature.
“Even if he didn’t know you, he’d smile and wave and make you feel welcome,” said Bay City senior Samm Quart. “That’s something you don’t see often these days.”
Quart said she had only met Wadsworth a few summers ago through mutual friends, but no matter how long they were apart, the two always picked up right where they left off.
“He would always go out of his way to say hi to me,” she said. “I guess that’s just because he was the nicest guy in the world.”
Wadsworth was heavily involved with the Circus Performers registered student organization, as well as the Gaming RSO and the Industrial Engineering and Technology Club. He also worked as a building maintenance worker on campus.
Even during mundane community service projects, Wadsworth brightened the mood.
“I got to connect with him a lot through volunteer projects,” Lewis said. “His willingness to learn and grow was incredible, and the camaraderie he had with all the guys we worked with was amazing.”
Remembering a conversation he’d had with Wadsworth not too long ago, Lewis said he’d tried to tell him how much of an impact he had on everybody around him.
“He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do in the future, so I told him ‘you’ve got to go to grad school. You’ve got to go out there and change the world. You have so much potential,’” Lewis said. “I feel like he knew he had it in him, but I don’t think he was told often enough. His character spoke worlds about him, and I’ll never forget him.”
Family and friends are welcome to visit with Wadsworth’s family from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home in St. Johns. A memorial service will be held in Wadsworth’s honor at 11 a.m. on Saturday at St. John’s Lutheran Church in St. Johns.