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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

A Special Desk Completed in Loving Memory

Steve was an ideal cabinetmaking student who was excited to be at Saint Paul College. Cabinetmaking Instructor Thomas Hillstead describes him as "always kind and helpful towards other students and a real pleasure to know." For his capstone project, Steve was excitedly working on a special desk for his wife, Kelly. Fellow students Amy & Francis said he shared many details and enthusiasm as he specifically designed the desk for his wife of 17 years. When the lockdown started, Steve took the materials home to finish. Tragedy struck when Steve sadly passed away with the desk still unfinished.

Photo: Students Amy & Francis finishing Kelly's Special DeskStudents Amy & Francis finishing Kelly's Special Desk

As grief hit the close-knit cabinetmaking class, Amy and Francis thought the right thing to do was finish this desk and return it to Steve's widow as a special gift from the heart of her beloved husband. When the Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation heard about this story, they funded a class for Amy & Francis to return to campus and complete the unique desk. Together with their instructor, these two students put the finishing touches on the beautiful Baltic birch plywood desk with plywood/plastic laminate tops and drawer fronts.

Photo: Delivering Steve's Special Desk

Coming together, as Saint Paul College students often do when tragedy hits, Amy and Francis contacted wife Kelly to set up the presentation of this extraordinary gift for her and their two children on March 25, 2021. Kelly, moved by this gesture, shared the following:

Delivering Steve's Special Desk to his family

Steve was very excited to be in this cabinetry program. I often reflect on the stories he shared about his class, and I vividly recall his eyes lighti​ng up whenever he talked about this special project. His sudden passing was heartbreaking for all of us. So, when Amy approached me about finishing the desk, I was touched by their commitment to complete his special gift. I use the desk every day and love it. He was so proud of his design, and we are so grateful to be able to enjoy this particular memory started by my loving husband and completed by loving, compassionate extended family members from Saint Paul College."

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