Missing Blue Lake man remembers family and friends – Times-Standard

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On Sunday afternoon, at least 100 friends, family and loved ones of Hunter Lewis, the 21-year-old student who disappeared off Trinidad Head, gathered at the Arcata Community Center to remember him.

The center walls were decorated with memorabilia from Hunter’s life, including baby pictures, old shoes, his outdoor gear, and pieces salvaged from the canoe Hunter had taken out on the water the day he disappeared. During the ceremony, Hunter’s loved ones shared their memories of him.

Hunter’s girlfriend, Kinsley Rolph, said she met him at Zion National Park at an AirBnB with other students who decided that if they were stuck with Zoom lessons, they might as well do them in a place as beautiful as Zion. She told the crowd about her immediate connection with Hunter that would turn into a relationship, and an embarrassing incident that helped bring them closer, when Rolph attempted to go watch Lewis play guitar with friends.

“It’s a college girl’s dream, a handsome guy with a guitar. So I quickly tried to finish all my homework, and I can’t wait to go downstairs and watch him play guitar. But then I have this sudden urge to go to the bathroom,” Rolph said. “I ended up clogging the toilet in the boys’ bathroom. I was mortified. I spent the whole hour they did their jam session trying to unclog that toilet. songs and singing with all her heart, I was upstairs screaming with my lungs at the bloody murder in that bathroom.

Hunter eventually came to see her and, together with his friend Pat, showed Rolph how to properly plunge a clogged toilet.

Hunter Lewis, who disappeared on December 30, was called back by friends and family on Sunday afternoon. (Contributed)

Rolph and Hunter had planned to get married and talked about the three ceremonies they wanted for each of their families, as well as Rolph’s occasional exasperation with Lewis’ nonchalant approach to wedding planning, telling there was a time when her grandmother could take care of everything. the kitchen itself.

She added that Lewis would write his love letters, and despite attending different schools — Lewis attended CSU Long Beach to study aerospace engineering — came to all of his hockey games, no matter how far he had to go. go to reach them. At one point he traveled for three hours from Long Beach to Santa Barbara for one of his games.

Hunter’s father, Corey Lewis, spoke at the memorial to commemorate Hunter’s life.

“I admired him, I admired him. I wanted to be as good a person as him. I know we are here to mourn and mourn the loss of life, and more than that, I hope we can celebrate a life well lived, a life we ​​can aspire to,” Lewis said.

Corey Lewis detailed Hunter’s adventurous life, his love of the outdoors, and his constant drive to do whatever he could with the time he had.

Before disappearing, Lewis was accepted into the next cohort of NASA’s Project PoSSUM program, where he would have studied Earth’s upper atmosphere.

The ceremony also featured a short film made by Hunter’s friends about when Lewis got his pilot’s license, a pandemic project he took on, where he fell in love with flying.

After a lengthy search involving hundreds of volunteers, dive teams, sonar and private flyovers, Hunter was not found.

Hunter was canoeing off Trinidad Head on December 30 as part of an in-depth scavenger hunt he was creating for his family when he went missing. He was suspected of accidentally ramming his dinghy on a shallow reef that is difficult to see at certain tides.

Hunter’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help cover search costs, lost wages and living expenses. The page, which raised $42,825 of its $40,000 goal, can be viewed at www.gofundme.com/f/help-with-hunter-lewiss-search-expenses. At the memorial, Lewis announced that extra money left over from donations will go to Humboldt Bay Fire, which helped with the search.

“He told me he wanted to die. At that point I didn’t want to hear that and I said ‘you’re not going to die, we’re going to grow old together,'” Rolph said. “He said ‘I want to die epically, like in a plane crash or something epic’ and I think it’s so Hunter that he died on an epic adventure of a treasure hunt. He brought us all together. He showed us special places in Humboldt that we had never seen before, and he showed us all how to be happy.

A separate memorial will be held in Long Beach for the many friends and connections Hunter made while attending school.

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