As a staff, we decided that in honor of the two year anniversary of Blake Van Vark’s death to allow seniors to share memories that they have of Blake. Here are the responses he received.
My favorite memory of Blake was getting to go through TEC with him. He got so into everything that we did that weekend and it was awesome to get to grow in faith with him. During the skits on Saturday night, Blake’s table group did a skit about what their discussion room was like and the funny things that happened during the weekend. Blake’s group was in the nursery during discussion times and Blake created quite the bond with a parrot puppet and would use it to talk to others or just to have a conversation with himself. He also got very upset at the Kitchen team when one Kitchen member took his cup of milk from him at breakfast and drank it in front of him. Someone asked him what Jesus would do in this situation and he responded, “I don’t care what Jesus would do!” He was an amazing friend and person and even though I wasn’t super close to him, he has impacted my life still today by showing me that you aren’t guaranteed another day on this Earth so you need to live like every day was your last and Blake did that every day. -Senior Sydney Swanson
My favorite memories of Blake were definitely from marching band. He played the tenor drums alongside me. He, along with Sierra Hrdlicka and Lucas Boyd, made marching band a complete joy. I looked forward to getting up at 6am just so I could spend time with them at rehearsal. Blake was really into Drum line, and I can only imagine how fantastic it would’ve been to have him in our final season of high school marching band. He’s definitely jammin’ out up there in the clouds. Miss you, dude. -Senior Tristan Miedema
I didn’t know Blake too well on a personal level, but we both played baseball together. I can’t exactly pick one specific memory that sticks out to me, but what I miss the most about him were our mind games we used to play in fantasy baseball. I would purposely select all of his favorite Yankees players in the draft, and he would do the same with all of my beloved Kansas City Royals players. At the time the Yankees were one of the power houses in Major League Baseball, so this strategy often worked better for me as opposed to him selecting players from my last-place bound Royals. Blake was a smart guy, and it didn’t take him long to realize that wasn’t a good strategy, so he’d spam me with trade offers throughout the year. In good spirit, I would usually accept, only after hearing him say the words “The Kansas City Royals will always be the best team in baseball.” It may not seem like much of a memory to you, but looking back it still makes me smile today. Blake was one of the few people I could have an intelligent conversation with about baseball, and have a sense of humor to go along with it. That’s what I miss the most about him. -Senior Ethan Butler
It’s the third grade we are all up on the big grass hill at Jefferson. I had a loose tooth and we were all playing on the hill so I asked people for ideas on how to get my tooth out. So being smart third graders Blake was like I’ll just knock it out for you. I didn’t actually think he would but sure enough I turn around and BAM a knuckle sandwich to the mouth and POP out flew the tooth. Remember those little treasure box’s the nurse gave you if you lost a tooth? Well I wanted one so bad but we lost the tooth in the grass! So Blake went and rallied all the kids in recess and we searched but could not find it. That is one of my best memories of Blake when we were kids. -Senior Alex Boots