Positano’s friends share her life

Sean Joseph

Early childhood education graduate student Amanda Armitage gives comfort to Morgan Wiland, senior business major, in the Student Center Ballroom, both were friends of Sarah Positano.

Credit: Andrew popik

The Kent State community got a chance to remember and say goodbye to Sarah Positano last night.

Students, faculty, friends, athletes and former teammates attended a campus memorial in the Student Center Ballroom for Positano, a senior who was killed in her home and one of three who died on Jan. 21. The evening started with a slide show of Positano’s life and ended with a candle light memorial in front of the M.A.C. Center.

Positano’s funeral was attended by thousands Monday in her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, Athletic Director Laing Kennedy said.

Positano was a coach’s assistant for the gymnastics team and set to graduate at the end of this semester.

President Carol Cartwright said she plans to personally present the degree that Positano was just months from completing at the commencement ceremony in May.

James E. Trimble, 44, of Brimfield is expected to be indicted on three counts of murder for the Jan. 21 slayings of Positano, Renee Bauer, 42, and Dakota Bauer, 7, Portage County Prosecutor Vic Vigluicci said. Trimble is currently being held in Portage County Jail.

Positano’s boyfriend, Mark Linsman, a former wrestler and student at the university, extended thanks from the Positano family to the Kent State community and the athletic department.

Linsman spoke about intercepting Positano’s mail so he would have an excuse to meet her when they were neighbors off campus. He pulled laughs out of a somber crowd during his speech when sharing his memories of Positano.

“Because of you I know what it feels like to truly love someone and have that love returned,” Linsman said. “You make me want to be a better man just so I can promise you more happiness.”

Jessie James and Kristy Kochejda, who lived with Positano, read a poem about her with two other friends, Morgan Wiland and Amanda Armitage.

“A little bit of Canada she brought with her to Kent. Her witty and creative charm she took with her everywhere she went,” they read.

Cartwright said she is still struggling to come to grips with an act that is, and always will be, absolutely impossible to understand. After the memorial, Cartwright said everyone that knew Positano well did very well.

“It was very brave of them to relive all of their sorrow in such a large crowd,” Cartwright said.

Many of the university’s student athletes came to remember Positano.

“I came out because Kent State athletics is just a big family,” said Jenny Fascione, a senior member of the track team.

Undergraduate Student Senate Executive Director Gary Broadbent came to send his condolences and represent the students that could not be there.

“Positano’s death was a heart-wrenching tragedy, but the program was a great remembrance,” Broadbent said. “It highlighted the great attributes of her personality and helped provide some closure for the people there.”

Contact safety reporter Sean Joseph at [email protected]