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Cardinal Points Issue 1

Mar 17, 2016

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News, Sports, Fuse, Opinions

  • By Jameson Sempeymanaging editorPlattsburgh State student Evan Jamison died of what his family is fairly certain was SUDEP, sudden unexplained death in Epilepsy, at his Massena home Aug. 15. Evan, 20, is survived by his mother Kathi and step-father Ste-fan Kuppek both of Massena; his maternal grandmother Thelma Blackman of Carson City, Nev.; a half-brother Jason Hansen of Mas-sena; a half-sister Heather Leu of Spokane, Wash.; one aunt Debra Jamison of Spokane,Wash.; and one uncle Ronald Jamison of Spo-kane, Wash. He was a very loyal, honest out-going kid who was good at every-thing he did, Kathi said. Every-thing he tried to do, he gave it his all.As a physics major with a minor in mathematics, he normally got As and Bs in his classes, Kathi said.Joe Dilcox, one of Evans best friends, shared the same major and had several classes with him. Although Evan was a bit of a pro-crastinator, the two would always compete for higher grades in their classes, Dilcox said.We used to push ourselves to be better in those classes, Dilcox said.A good student through high school and his two years at PSUC, Evan was also a superb athlete.He ran cross country throughout grade school, and then developed a passion for track and field at the start of junior high.Ryan Belair, Evans teammate in high school, said he was phenom-enal at everything he did in track.As a runner and jumper, he also went to states for the high jump,

    and was an excellent thrower when he tried it.When he arrived at PSUC, he gave up running track and field to devote more time to his studies, yet that didnt keep him from being actively involved in sports.We played a sport every day, Jordan Ahnert, one of Evans close friends, said. He kept me active. This semester I havent even gotten to the gym.

    And while Evan dedicated signifi-cant time to athletics and academ-ics, he was still very fun-loving and easy going.At PSUC, Evan teamed up with Dilcox and his roommate at the time, Josh Prashaw, to form an air-band called Legal Riot. We started just randomly post-ing videos to each other on Face-book and tried to kind of one up each other with stupidity and goofi-ness, Dilcox said. He was like the renaissance band; he played every-thing- drums, keyboard.The band never hit it big. They planned on doing some graduation parties, but people were just un-comfortable with the idea of book-ing an air band, Dilcox said. It was that kind of humor that brought Prashaw and Evan togeth-er.

    During their first year at PSUC, Prashaw and Evan dressed up as

    women for Halloween, something Dilcox remembers all too well.You guys got hit on so many times that night, he laughed.Evan never failed to have his friends laughing with acts of humor like this.Ahnert said he used to play Girls Dont Cry on the guitar.Never failed to make me laugh, he said.And not only did he know how to play it, he could sing every word, Dilcox said.He could always make his friends laugh, and he was always there for his friends as well, Ahnert said.Loyalty wasnt a trait Evan pos-sessed exclusively for friends. As a single mother, Kathi had her fair share of struggles raising Evan, but he was always loyal to his family and had a good respect for how Kathi raised him on her own.He was very mature for his age no matter how old he was, Kathi said. He seemed like an adult soul in a childs body. He loved his half-brother, and always tormented him, smacked him around, tickled him typical brother stuff, Kathi said.And while it might never have been said while he was here at PSUC, his friends cared about him just as much as he cared for oth-ers. You never really vocalize it when youre all around, especially being guys, its not really a com-mon thing to do, but if I had the chance thats absolutely what Id do Id tell him I love him, Dil-cox said. I mean, wed pick on each other all the time, but just to let him know that I care so much about him.

    CP NewsA8 news editor bryan bergeron friday, sept. 17, [email protected]

    Aprills love of outdoors guided his lifeBy Matt Rosenbergeditor-in-chiefA passion for the outdoors, his family and his writing made Dennis Aprill a house-hold name in the North Country.But on July 3, an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer took the life a person whose name appeared on the back page of the Press-Republican for 20 straight years, a per-son who shared his love of the outdoors with his family and pupils and a person who wanted nothing more than to see the Adirondack region get the love and attention he thought it deserved.Dennis spent the last 30 years of his life as a profes-sor at Plattsburgh State both in the English and journal-ism departments following a high school teaching gig in East Brunswick, N.J.He was hoping he could start over in the North Coun-

    try and find a way to con-tribute to student learning that wouldnt be in quite as hostile an environment, said Tom Morrisey, chair of the PSUC English department who was part of the search committee when Dennis was hired. I was impressed by what appeared to be his gen-uine commitment to helping students improve their writ-ing, and I certainly wasnt disappointed.Dennis developed a deep love for the Adirondacks upon moving to the North Country. Trying to avoid the chaotic lifestyle that New Jersey had to offer, Dennis moved to Swastika, south-west of Plattsburgh, where he undertook an interest in wildlife and conservation is-sues. Combining that with

    his love for writing, he au-thored books about hunting and fishing in the Adiron-dacks. The environment he lived in became a part of him and his career. His column in the Press-Republican, Out-door Perspective, appeared in every Sunday issue of the paper starting Sept. 9, 1990 nearly 1,000 columns, 1,000 weeks in a row, with-out missing or repeating one.Its not only being able to conceive and execute these ideas every week, but the mi-nutia and marshalling of in-formation and arranging for pictures, and to do that ev-ery week is more work than almost anybody realizes, Press-Republican Editor-in-Chief Bob Grady said. Its a tremendous undertaking. He really was an extraordinary performer in that regard.He was an incredible per-former not only because he

    was able to complete his out-doors page every week, but also because of his ability to balance it with the rest of his life.Dennis shared his love of the outdoors with his fam-ily, particularly with his daughter Karalyn, who re-membered walking around at 3 years old with her father pointing out different trees and wildlife.The two had planned on going to Alaska, somewhere Karalyn had never been, in late July. Up until the time he died, Dennis told Karalyn he would get well enough to go on the trip. What no one in the family found out until just a few weeks before his passing was that a pain in Denniss back was his body telling him he was losing a battle with terminal pancre-atic cancer.He just kept telling me,

    I promise you Im going to get better for this trip, and it just showed he knew I really wanted to go, Karalyn said. I think thats what I remem-ber most. He was trying so hard to get better.Through his work in the Adirondacks and writing for various publications, he earned a nomination to the New York State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame. Bill Wellman, the Region V vice president for Trout Unlimited, nominat-ed Dennis for the hall of fame. He had the unusual ability to relate the real world to the academic world so students didnt get some glossy pic-ture of what Dennis was talk-ing about they got a pic-ture of what life is really like in the world, Wellman said. I think thats been beneficial to the students and some-thing Dennis was proud of.Despite being well-round-

    ed in many areas, Dennis didnt feel invincible. Journal-ism professor and colleague of Denniss for 30 years Ron Davis recalled a canoeing adventure they shared in which Denniss canoe turned over. Dennis later admitted he thought he was going to drown.But he never backed away from the water after the inci-dent.He liked to test his fears thats one reason he liked the outdoors, Davis said. He tried things he didnt always feel comfortable doing. He liked to be on the edge of his comfort zone.But in his comfort zone, Dennis was always on point. He often requested to teach English 100 for Morrisey with the hope that he could really get students excited about writing and thinking like writers. He was able to

    use his status as a writer to relate to the students and give them something to work toward. Students tend to re-spect teachers who practice the craft they teach and his experiences made him cred-ible, Morrisey said.But upon hearing the news, Morrisey said he couldnt help but be taken aback by the news of Den-niss death.In the age that we live in, its not nearly as common to pick up a newspaper and be shocked, Morrisey said. But I picked up the paper out of the mailbox that Sunday morning and I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. Its still so inconceivable to me that I will never see him again.Karalyn said she met people at her fathers services whom she had never met before, but she was able to recognize their names, as Dennis often shared with her the stories he was writing and who he planned on talking to for them. There were people who may have just been a source here and there, and then there were the closest of friends at his services a celebration of all of the good Dennis did for conservation efforts in the Adirondacks and surrounding area, of all of the peoples lives he touched and of all the knowl-edge he instilled within ev-eryone who knew him.I really realized after he passed away that he really cared about his family and he just wanted his primary goal to be making sure that his family was OK, Karalyn said. That just adds to who he was. He had passion in his work and he also had an un-believable amount of caring for his family. He was great.

    Photo providedDennis Aprill, for