Fort Lewis College News and Events

FLC mourns the passing of Capt. Jeff Kuss

Capt. Jeff Kuss
Capt. Jeff Kuss

The passing of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss has become a national story and his death has affected many people. Condolences have come in from across the country, in addition to inquiries to learn more about Capt. Kuss.

Capt. Kuss graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2006 with a degree in economics. Dr. Stephanie Owings-Edwards, FLC professor of economics, recalled him well. Below are Dr. Owings-Edwards remembrances of a special FLC alumnus.

“Every faculty member has some students that they think of as being one of theirs. He was one of mine,” she says. “I can tell you exactly where Jeff sat in my Principles class. He was the only student in that class who seemed interested in what I was saying. Economics was not immediately easy for him, but I told him he could become good at it. He rose to the challenge and proceeded to take every class I offered. The last class he took from me was Game Theory. It is not an easy class, but the course was a cruise for him. He had mastered everything I had to teach.”

After learning that Jeff had aspirations of flying for the Marines, Dr. Owings-Edwards wondered if he would have been better served attending one of the military academies instead of Fort Lewis College. Yet, when Jeff set his mind to something, he would do everything to make it happen.

“I remember driving by Jeff on winter mornings, his face flushed, jogging along Goeglein Gulch,” she says. “Absolutely no one else was out. But he knew that the physical training regime for the Marines would be demanding and he was going to be prepared. He was a case study in how far determination and dedication could take someone.

“When I learned that Jeff had been accepted to fly with the Blue Angels I was so happy for him. It was like he was the winning quarterback in the Super bowl. The odds that the freshman who sat in my class would make it into the Blue Angels were dazzlingly small. For me, his story reaffirmed my faith in the American Dream.”

All Fort Lewis College alumni can be proud that Capt. Jeff Kuss is one of them. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, particularly his wife and children.

Jeff's family has established the Jeff Kuss Memorial Scholarship for veterans returning to school and the children of active military families. Click here to donate to the fund.

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