Memorial Service at Neuqua
“Even that night when they died, they were together,” said Ron Jurinek.
Two best friends, together until the end. 21-year-old Franco Patino and 20-year-old Jacob Jurinek were among 10 killed at the Astroworld Festival earlier this month. The two friends traveled to Houston for the Travis Scott concert to celebrate ahead of Jacob’s 21st birthday. The Naperville community remembered the two Neuqua Valley High School grads and the mark they left.
“They were extremely disciplined, they were everything that we wanted in a Neuqua Valley football player,” said Bill Ellinghaus, head football coach at Neuqua. “Disciplined, determined, selfless. I mean absolutely putting everybody else first.”
And that’s exactly what they did until the last second. According to Jacob’s father, Patino and Jacob helped save the lives of two girls during the stampede. “When we find out that they did lose their lives helping others to save lives it’s a tribute to their character,” said Jacob’s father, Ron. “When I found that news out it made me feel just a little better about how this tragedy happened and that they didn’t die in vain, they died being heroes.”
Family, friends, and Neuqua alumni came together for a memorial service in front of the school as a tribute to their local heroes. “We love Neuqua and the community here so we really appreciate everybody – what you’re doing for us,” said Jose Patino, Franco’s father. “And this is really helping us to pass through this hard time. But we really appreciate that you all love my son and thank you for being here.”
Franco was a junior at the University of Dayton, and Jacob was a junior at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Both of their families have filed wrongful death lawsuits against Scott and concert organizers.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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