ROXANA - It has been a very emotional week for residents of the region after two well-known people died.
Roxana High School graduate and Lewis and Clark Community College student Jenna L. Rudd, 21, left behind a legacy of friendship to others. She died as a result of injuries in an automobile accident in Macoupin County early Saturday morning. On Tuesday the area was hit with another death of a young person when Officer Tyler Timmins died after being killed in the line of duty.
Roxana and neighboring communities are in mourning after the loss of Rudd, who at 21, had such a bright future ahead. Rudd was studying and planned to pursue a career in occupational therapy, her girls track and field coach Julie Akal said.
Jenna attended Roxana schools from kindergarten to her senior year and never missed a single day, which is an incredible accomplishment. At the end of her senior year, she was honored by the state of Illinois for perfect attendance throughout her entire school career.
She earned an athletic scholarship to Greenville University for track and field, but her season was canceled her freshman year because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Eventually, she came home to attend Lewis and Clark Community College.
The Roxana School District posted this statement about her: “The Roxana School District is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of a Class of 2019 graduate, Jenna Rudd. Jenna was a friend to many, excelled academically, and was a multi-sport athlete.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jenna’s family and friends, former classmates, teachers, and the Roxana community.”
Jenna was an exceptional discus thrower and was once the Madison County champion in her division and always competitive. Jenna worked recently at Edwardsville Care Center in the Activities Department, a natural job position for the future she planned. She enjoyed art, drawing, sports, and her friends.
Jenna’s death is so hard to handle for the school and the entire community, Coach Akal said.
“To know she had all this potential and things to look forward to makes it so rough when we lose someone like her,” she explained.
Coach Akal said she was struck by the boards and boards of pictures of Jenna and her friends and the number of students, teachers, and administrators who attended her visitation.
The coach had a perfect way to describe the best about the young Roxana woman and her vibrant personality: “everyone was Jenna’s friend.”