‘It was the weight of humanity he carried on his shoulders’: CSUB student remembered as someone who always put others first

April 25, 2019 /

Friends, family, professors and many more community members came together Wednesday to honor a son, classmate, student and brother and to remember the impacts he had on those around him.

Jason Quinn Kelly, known as Quinn, was honored at Cal State Bakersfield, where he attended school. Those closest to him wanted the community to know how special he is and how much he is loved.

“I love you, Quinn,” his father, Leviak Kelly, said. “Your soul is in my heart. We honor you. You shall not die for we remember. Eternal memory to you, my son. Reside in our lady.”

The 18 year old was hit by a truck April 2 in the 3200 block of Haley Street, according to the Bakersfield Police Department. He died at the scene.

Quinn had a loving and carrying soul, his brother Shawn said at the memorial, and Shawn wanted the community to know that.

“It was just amazing how much of a heart he had,” Shawn said. “It was so big that he could probably carry the entire world on it.”

Just hours before the accident, Quinn turned in his final assignment to his favorite professor, Monica Ayuso.

His essay, Environmentalism and Cultural Bias, is now being included in the forthcoming issue of Calliope, CSUB’s literary journal for the English Department, which has been dedicated to Quinn.

“Sometimes I thought his voice and his delivery were particularly big for his small frame, but that impression may have had everything to do with the infantic way in which he spoke,” Ayuso said at the memorial.

“I am almost positive that Quinn was determined to become one of us,” she said. “I cannot say that he found his love of books with us, but I find solace in the fact that is his love of books, of stories, and offers deepened with us.”

Before having Ayuso as a professor, Quinn was certain he wanted to major in Biology. His goal in life was to become a veterinarian, but after taking an english course with Ayuso, he decided to double major in biology and english.

“Even though he drifted away from [wanting to become a veterinarian], he still never lost his passion for caring about the environment and nature and animals,” Shawn said.

Quinn saw good in all people, Shawn said. He remembers Quinn having trouble with a bully. When he asked Quinn about the situation a month later, Quinn said him and the bully were now friends.

“That’s the kind of person Quinn was — the kind of man who looked out for other people before himself, even when he had no incentive,” Shawn said. “It was the weight of humanity he carried on his shoulders.”

The support of the campus came together, supporting a fellow Runner, even those who did not personally know Quinn.

“I didn’t know Quinn much,” said CSUB student Candice Livingston. “He seemed like a kind person, and from the things his family said, he was definitely a wonderful soul who deserved more time to change this world.”

She continued, “we should all strive to have compassion the way he did.”

Jessica Manzo

Jessica Manzo is a youth reporter for South Kern Sol and a student at Cal State Bakersfield.