Family accepts diploma for WSU student who died by suicide

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A Wichita State University student who died by suicide last week is remembered on graduation day.

(Submitted by Karstensen family)

Sherry Karstensen says her son Jonathan passed away Saturday (May 11). She says he was a loving person who would always do what he could to help others. He was fond of art, the french language, dancing and rowing -- a sport he was passionate about.

"He was all for it-- he pushed himself, he would come home and he would have blisters all over his hands," says Sherry.

On Saturday, she along with her entire family accepted his diploma from Wichita State for Integrated Marketing. They remember Jonathan as someone who was always ready for the next adventure.

"He wanted to get on the road for a road trip and I asked him where he was going and he told me Beaver Lake, Arkansas. I asked who he was going with and he said no one and I told him no you're not, I'm going with you," said Sherry.

Jonathan's family says he had been dealing with depression and had the support of his entire family. They hope by speaking out, they can help others from feeling their pain.

"You don't know and you've got to make a stand and you have to watch, do something before you are in our shoes," Sherry said. "If we can help somebody else-- help save someone's life, that is what Jonathan would have wanted."

The Karstensen family has set up a fundraiser on their Facebook page to help with funeral expenses, a celebration of life ceremony, and suicide awareness.