Not Forgotten

November 11, 2011

General Life


1996-1997 Residence Life Professional Staff, Biola University

When I was fresh out of college, newly married, and looking for work, there was a man, Gary Rovinski, who saw something in me, stepped out on a limb amongst his colleagues, and hired me to help lead a residence hall (dorm) at Biola University, although I was quite young for the role.  His willingness to take a chance on me changed the course of my professional career.

Gary was my first real boss.

He was an easy person to be around, had a ready-smile, worked hard, loved his family, had fun stories to tell, was sweet, sensitive, and had an endearingly quirky way about him.  I worked for Gary for almost two years and always felt like he was standing behind me, cheering me on, encouraging me to be my best.  Gary believed in me.

Gary also believed in his country.  He would speak passionately about his time in the Army years prior and the costs of our freedoms.  His devotion even sparked a military theme for our student training one year where I recall the twinkle in his eyes as he marched us down a field like a general leading his troops into battle.

Gary Rovinski

A few years after leaving his role at Biola, Gary began his second military career and joined the US Naval Reserves as a Seabee.  In January, 2006 when Gary’s unit was called to fight in Iraq, he willingly accepted his mission, expressing to a local newspaper, “I’m happy to serve.  I know that freedom is not free and I’m trying to contribute some of what my family and other veterans have contributed before me.”

On June 5th, 2006, Gary Rovinski was killed in the line of duty as a result of enemy action.  His Humvee was struck by a makeshift bomb.  Gary left behind his wife, Jen, and two young daughters, Cece (13) and Michaela (10).

It has been over five years since I learned of Gary’s death, but he is not forgotten.  His sacrifice is not forgotten.  His family’s sacrifice is not forgotten.

Gary is a hero of the most valiant kind.

Thank you to Gary and all other veterans and their families who have given so much to protect our freedoms and the freedoms of others!

**Judson’s memorial service was on Veteran’s day four years ago.  We considered playing the Battle Hymn of the Republic since it was a song our little boy had loved when his Grammy and Papa played it in their car.
So in honor of all veterans, Gary, and our boy…

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10 Comments on “Not Forgotten”

  1. Michal Ann Says:

    Thank you for posting this wonderful tribute. I first learned about your beautiful boy when I found him singing the National Anthem on youtube. Thank you for teaching love of country. My son is a U.S. Marine, my father served in the Navy, his brother in the Coast Guard and my grandfather in the Army, WWI. I helped bring a party to the excellent psych ward at our local Veteran’s hospital yesterday. It was very heartening to hear patients praise the caring staff and helpful programs. God bless America.

    • CLevasheff Says:

      So grateful to your son and all the other men in your life who have served our country. What a gift to us! Yes, God bless America.

  2. Kristen Victor Says:

    I was a sophomore living in Sigma in 1996. I didn’t know Gary, so thanks for sharing with us what a blessing he was to those who did know him. 🙂

    • CLevasheff Says:

      Kristen…

      Gary was the Associate Dean of Students at that time and I am so glad I had the chance to “introduce” you to him!

  3. Shannon Says:

    Hi Levasheff´s,

    I am a long time follower of Jud´s story, first time comment-er. Just to let you know I have your family in my thoughts a lot but especially last week. He is physically absent but definitely not forgotten!

    I also wanted to share with you about another Krabbe child that earned her angel wings just a few short hours ago. Her name is Anaya and you can see her story at The Anaya Initiative on Facebook or at http://healinganaya.blogspot.com. She is from Nelson, British Colombia, Canada and I know her family could use a some loving right now. Lets spread the word to help end this heinous disease.

    Rest in Peace Judson and Anaya…

    • CLevasheff Says:

      Shannon…

      You have no idea how sweet it is for me to have a long time follower be a first-time commenter. Thank you for your words!

      The Krabbe community is relatively small, and we have been following Anaya’s journey too. Our hearts grieve with her family.

      Thank you for wanting to passionately eradicate this wretched disease!

  4. mikegreco Says:

    I remember when I heard the news. Rob sent me an email – I saved it. In the time between that day and this, there has been a handful of times where Gary has crossed through my mind. I pray that he, and those he left behind, are safe and well.

    Thanks for the reminder

    • CLevasheff Says:

      Thanks for reading, Mike, and remembering with me. I hope you are well!

      • Mike Dunleavy Says:

        I first met Gary at College Misericordia. He was on our basketball team. He was one of the nicest men I have ever met. He had the greatest laugh and would have a smile from ear to ear. It was sad to hear of his death. A guy as nice as him with a family and much to live for. Although I never saw Gary again after we graduated in 1983. I can still picture him smiling. Although he is no longer physically with us, his memory, his family and his faith in God will keep him with us forever. For those that never knew him, you don’t know what you have missed. God bless his family. Thanks for the story.

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