Former Kent student remembered for his love of music


Ian Minnick plays with the band Chil as they open for Jesse McCartney on Sept. 27, 2018.

Abigail Miller

To some, Ian Minnick was known as the lead guitarist for Akron-area alternative band Chil

However, to those who knew Minnick, he was known as a loving friend with a generous nature and thoughtful personality.

Minnick, a former digital media production student, died Monday night, just a little over two weeks after his 22nd birthday. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

“At his core, he loved helping people, and was gentle and caring,” said Kelly Minnick, his mother. “He was sweet and easy to talk to, but absolutely hated small talk although he participated in it.”

She added he was “open-minded and accepting of people from any walk of life, any level of education, sexual orientation, age or spiritual belief.”

“He despised bigotry and all forms of hatred,” she said. “He was just accepting of people and shied away from those who were not as accepting.”

Born into a musically focused family, Minnick’s passion for the craft spans way past his time in Chil.

“Ian comes from a musical family, although none of us play instruments like Ian had a natural ability to do,” his mother said. “He started playing the guitar when he was about 11 years old and never stopped.”

Minnick joined Chil in 2012, the same year the members released their debut album, “Only Good Karma.” Since that first release, some of the band’s accomplishments include two additional albums, opening a show for Jesse McCartney at Kent State and traveling overseas to record music in the United Kingdom.

“He was extremely dedicated to the craft and gave up a lot in order to make Chil successful,” said Nick Batton, Minnick’s bandmate and a Kent State alumnus. “Music always came first for him. I remember him walking out of a job one time in order to make it to a show.”

In addition to his long-standing love for music, Minnick enjoyed studying film and sound within his digital media production major.

“Ian was a true creative,” Batton said. “He loved digital media production and working with our directors and crew on videos. It was another creative outlet for him, and he was extremely passionate about creating in general.”

Over the summer of 2017, Minnick worked alongside assistant professor Scott Hallgren and a group of students on Kent State’s first-ever movie produced off campus, “Fly By Night.”

“He was the kind of person that could help a group work better together,” Hallgren said. “He took to sound, which is what I teach, and I think it had an awful lot to do with what he did as a musician.”

Once news of his passing spread, childhood friends and members of the Kent community took to social media to share memories and pay tribute to him.

“Ian, it was a pleasure to have met you freshman year at Kent in Human Communication class where I got to hear your speech about why people should watch Michael Bay movies,”  photo illustration major and former classmate of Minnick’s Taylor Schwiebert posted on Facebook. “You were a kind, talented, funny, and amazing individual that was taken away too soon. Rest in Peace.”

A memorial service for Ian will be held on March 23 at 2:28 pm at Morley Music Hall, in his hometown of Painesville, Ohio.

Abigail Miller is a feature writer. You can email her at [email protected].