‘Soulful kid,’ GSHS grad dies at 21 | PostIndependent.com
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‘Soulful kid,’ GSHS grad dies at 21

Carrie ClickWestern Garfield County Bureau Editor

Glenwood Springs High School alumnus Matt Jankovsky, 21, passed away with his family gathered around him in Denver on Aug. 1. He spent the previous 11 days at Denver Health Medical Center’s Rocky Mountain Trauma Center, after suffering a severe brain injury on July 21 while riding a longboard skateboard in Broomfield. (See Page 6 for obituary.)Jankovsky’s parents are Liz Meador, of Glenwood Springs and Seaside, Calif., and Tom Jankovsky, of Glenwood Springs. Liz is an education professor, and Tom is the general manager at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Matt’s two sisters, Eva and Bridget, also are from Glenwood. “He had the best care available,” said Liz. “We are so grateful to all of the people who helped keep him alive as long as they did, so that we could have time with him to say goodbye.”Matt was 2 years old when he moved with his family to Glenwood Springs from Alaska. He attended Aspen Community School in Woody Creek as a young boy.”That’s where he developed his passion for the outdoors, and his care and concern for animals,” Liz said. “He was just one of those soulful kids.” Liz said he always had an interest in the arts, too. “He was an incredible artist,” she said. Matt went to Glenwood Springs Middle School and Colorado Rocky Mountain School, and graduated in 2001 from Glenwood Springs High School. He had just received his bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder in July. In Glenwood Springs, Matt painted a mural on the Sunlight Ski & Bike Shop on Ninth Street. “He worked with Dean Bowlby and Dan Sprick,” Liz said of two well-known artists from the Glenwood area. Liz said that besides being an accomplished artist, her son was an extreme athlete – from skiing to kayaking to skateboarding. He spent summers working as a river guide with Up Tha Creek raft company in Glenwood, and was on the Sunlight and Colorado Rocky Mountain School ski teams. He also worked as a lifeguard in Glenwood at the Hot Springs Pool and in Boulder for the city’s recreation department. Liz said Matt was probably going about 30 mph on his longboard when he crashed. She said since the accident, the family has been contacted by a brain injury prevention organization about letting Matt’s life serve as an example of the importance of wearing a helmet when longboarding. The group has discussed producing a documentary about Matt to stress how final head injuries can sometimes be. “It’s such a terrible loss,” Liz said. Liz said Matt believed in living life to its fullest.”He’s always said, ‘I’d rather have half a life lived fully than a full life lived halfway,” Liz said. “He was a gorgeous, strong young man.”Contact Carrie Click625-3245, ext. 101cclick@postindependent.com


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