Bitsko remembered


Randy Bitsko, father of Jason Bitsko, watches a speaker at the memorial service held his son’s honor in the Newman Center on Wendesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Jason Bitsko passed away suddenly two weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall season.

Haley Keding

Friends and family gathered Wednesday night at the University Parish Newman Center to celebrate the life of Jason Bitsko.

Bitsko, 21, died unexpectedly Wednesday, August 20. He was set to be the football team’s starting center this upcoming season.

The Newman Center informed the athletic department and Bitsko’s family of the memorial mass, but the event was an open invitation.

“We’re all a community here at Kent,” Campus Minister Mary Lynn Delfino said.

Father Steve Agostino led the service as those in attendance remembered the life of Bitsko.

“I think it’s important when we gather at a time like this to have those who knew him to share that with all us here,” Agostino said.

Bitsko’s father, Randy Bitsko, was present at the mass and said his son’s biggest message was to let others know he cared.

Also among those who attended was Bitsko’s roommate, Christian Severino, who said Bitsko was not the typical football player.

“He always put someone else before him and thanked God for everything he had,” Severino said.  

Bitsko was an active member in the organization, Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  He helped lead Monday night men’s bible study and helped Severino discover a faith of his own.

“Wherever Jason went, I went, so I was there every Monday night with him,” Severino said.

About 20 men showed up for the weekly study, and Bitsko was always there, said Ted Schumacher, Bitsko’s Christian mentor from FCA.

Schumacher and Bitsko met weekly in Schumacher’s home after Bitsko accepted Christ in October 2012.

Schumacher remembered receiving Bitsko’s bible after his death.

“I had never seen it before and once I opened it up, right there in the beginning it said that he’d found a new life, a new life in Christ,” Schumacher said.

Frank Kurtz, an associate with FCA, also knew Bitsko and his lifestyle.

“People need to see God’s love through us and we saw that love through Jason,” Kurtz said.

Contact Haley Keding at [email protected].