Friends share memories of Logan Jauernigg
VAIL — Hundreds gathered at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on Sunday to celebrate the life of Battle Mountain High School graduate Logan Jauernigg. Jauernigg, 20, was killed in a kayaking accident on May 15.
Using “Live Like Logan” as their theme, Vail Valley residents shared memories Sunday of the young man who was described as being a world-class athlete in at least three mountain sports and who had a passion for life that was infectious.
“How did one guy have so much time and energy to always be the person everyone did everything with?” local photographer Bjorn Bauer asked the crowd.
‘A SUPER HERO’
Jauernigg was born in Vail on May 4, 1995. He attended Meadow Mountain Elementary School and Minturn Middle School before graduating from Battle Mountain High School in 2013. Along the way, he made hundreds of friends and touched the lives of many people through his participation in local sports.
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Atop a stage filled with climbing gear, skiing gear, kayaking gear, a sombrero, a Ravinos patch and a unicycle, locals shared stories of how Jauernigg amazed them on 5.14 ascents, class-5 descents and ordinary trips to the burrito stand.
“He was a super hero on our team,” said Larry Moore, head coach of the Vail Athletic Club climbing team. “Kids that have never met him all know who he is. He’s all over our wall of fame.”
Moore helped organize the memorial, which began at Ford Amphitheater and continued into Gore Creek, where Jauernigg’s ashes were scattered.
Moore said Jauernigg’s mother, Michelle Schlund, requested the memorial be a celebration of Jauernigg’s life, where his friends would share stories of adventure and fun experiences they had together.
“Michelle was a part of every competition and every camping trip we did,” Moore said. “Watching this amazing woman raise Logan helped me understand why he was so incredible. … Michelle always encouraged Logan’s adventurous spirit and embraced his giant circle of friends.”
Jauernigg was Schlund’s only child. Watching him grow up since birth, Schlund’s lifelong friend Cindy Koch said having Jauernigg in her life was part of the reason she never had kids.
“I knew him since the day he came out of the womb,” she said. “He was just a really special kid.”
VALUE OF FRIENDSHIP
Koch said Jauernigg’s mother was able to impart onto him one of the her own personality traits, one which has kept the friends close since their years attending George Washington High School together in Denver.
“She passed onto him the value of precious friendship,” Koch said. “We’ve been there for each other for all of life’s happiest moments and the toughest moments.”
Several of Schlund’s childhood friends were in attendance on Sunday. Amiee Millensifer grew up with Schlund on South Locust Street in Denver, the two attended grade school together and have since remained close. She said just a few months ago, she asked Schlund if her son’s adventures were making her worried.
“One of the things I respect most about Michelle is her son did make her worried, but she supported him anyway,” Millensifer said. “She knew the risks, but she also knew she had to let him go. She had to let him go out into the world and do what he loved.”
Schlund’s family and friends have set up a fundraising page to help her with the large expense of Sunday’s memorial. Visit it at http://www.gofundme.com/uqqve8.