In Memory of Ruslans Petrovskis
On September 15, 2011, Westminster College sophomore Ruslans Petrovskis passed away from injuries he sustained in a tragic bicycle accident five days before. Ruslans, an international student from Latvia, was an important member of our Westminster family, majoring in Business Administration with a Marketing emphasis, working in the Wetterau weight room, and active in campus activities. His loss will be felt especially hard in a close-knit community like ours.
This memorial page is dedicated to Ruslans. We invite members of our community to help us celebrate his life with photos, tributes, and memories. If you’d like to share your thoughts or stories about Ruslans, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll post them here.
Watch the Video of Ruslans' Memorial Service
Download the Transcript of Ruslans' Memorial Service
I've known Ruslan since 5 years ago. I can say he enjoyed his life at the maximum. Always wanted to meet new people, discover new places and try new things. He had an adventurous spirit. His loveliness, charisma, and friendly personality, will be alive in our hearts for ever.
Rest on peace dear friend, I love you hermanito.
Pictured Right (A): Ruslan and Estefanía at Punta Leona Beach, Costa Rica. Summer 2010
Ruslan was such a kind person to everyone, even those who he did not know well. Whenever I saw him or talked to him in the dining hall or around campus, he always had a smile on his face, friendly word to say, gentle hug and friendly disposition. I just wish that I could have been able to learn more about him and became friends with him. He will be missed by many. Everyone here at this school is family to me. He is my brother, just like all the other guys are my brothers and just like all the girls here are my sisters.
Sympathy to all of Ruslan's friends and family and may God bless them.
It is a terrible loss for all the college community.
Linda Aulgur, PhD
This is a terrible, terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Ruslans’ family and friends.
Keith T. Hardeman
Ruslan was always there when anyone needed him. Before I left for Russia to study abroad he sat down with me and taught me how to read Russian and speak some phrases which greatly helped me while I was there. It was because of him I went to Riga, Latvia on my spring break, and when I did he set me up with his friends at home so I would be alone there. He was amazing, always smiling, and always there if I or anyone needed him. He will never be forgotten..
I met Ruslan 5 years ago in UWC Costa Rica, I will always remember his energy, the hope he carried in his eyes and the ability to always look positive even when going through the hardest times. Ruslan touched our hearts and souls. When I visited Westminster,he showed me every little hidden place of why Westmo had become his home. He taught me that even when we feel we are drowning in our emotions, we have to dive out and see the sun rise and moon set, so we will have a better day. Ruslan, thank you hermanito, thank you for being my angel here and wherever you are now. You are the brightest start in the sky! I know that whenever I look up, i see you and you see me!
Pictured right (B): Ixchel and Ruslan, when she visited Westminster in February, 2010
I will always think of Ruslans as that smiling, sweet sweet boy. All of our conversations seemed to center around his future plans, his desire to try everything, and his simple joy and fascination with life itself. I do not know why this has happened, but I do know this: the trick is not to find all the answers; it's learning to live without them. When we cannot wrap our minds around the loss of our dear Ruslans, we can wrap our arms around each other and know that, in many ways, he will always be with us. We love you, sweet boy.
I am grieving along with the rest of the Westminster family in the loss of our friend Ruslans. He will be deeply missed.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. - Khalil Gibran
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends across the world.
Although I didn't have the opportunity to me Ruslan , this story really touch me, my heart goes out to the family and friends of Ruslan.
Ruslans, dear pollito, I will always remember your kindness!
Ruslan was one of those few people who we automatically loved within 5 minutes of meeting. No matter how busy he was, he always had time for a friend. There was always a smile on his face, and he would do anything to help someone out. He used to come dance in the living room of our apartment with us, and if he didn't like dancing to what we played, he put his headphones on and danced to his own song right in the middle of everyone. He truly loved life and lived every day to the fullest. He has changed my life for the better and his smiling face will be missed.
Don't be sad for Ruslan; be envious of how fully he lived his life.
I had just arrived in Santa Ana, Costa Rica from Bogota’ on Thursday, September 15th, to learn of Ruslan’s death, just hours earlier, from faculty members here at the UWCCR campus. The UWCCR international students were gathered together in their native dress to participate in the annual Independence Day Parade and had made a big sign to carry at the front of the UWCCR delegation in the parade. While the current students here did not know Ruslans, the bond that the UWC community fosters, made it seem like they knew him. Those hit the hardest were some of his favorite teachers here. Also, his second mother (Ruslans was orphaned as a young lad) who had been a librarian at the college, was with the students at the parade and was just crushed to learn of his death. They had been special to each other for his 2 years here as a student. Both the people here in Costa Rica and those on our campus who knew Ruslans, knew he was a special person. I was fortunate. I am one of those people and I will miss him too.
We are all better people for knowing Ruslans. May his friends and family find peace.
Cinnamon Brown, Ph.D.
When I lost my grandmother it was Ruslan who gave me the perspective and courage that I needed to work through my grieve. He did so by reminding me that the best way to honor her memory was not to let myself be consumed by the pain but to celebrate all that her life had meant and to fight even harder now to make her proud. He reminded me that I was not alone in my pain and that there were so many others who had gone through the similar pain before and now were there to help me get through mine.
Now I believe it is time for our community to hear his words of wisdom and use them to help each other in this difficult time. Even though Ruslan has left us abruptly and far too soon, all of us who loved him should remember that he lived his short time to the fullest. Always with a smile in his face, dreams to inspire us all, and a strength that amazed me every single day. It is now our turn to remember the lessons he taught us with his giving heart and come together to be the best we can be and live on with intensity for him.
Descansa en paz amigo mio, and never forget how much we loved you as we will never forget you.
Paola Protti Nunez
1. Pictured right (C): Ruslan at the Independence Parade in Costa Rica
2. Pictured right (D): Ruslan at the UWC-Costa Rica Inauguration
3. Pictured right (E): Ruslan with the 08' and 09' classes of UWC-Costa Rica
Zdravstvujte! Spasibo,4to vi ljubite Ruslana spasibo,spasibo,Spasibo!
How will I remember Ruslan? As the guy who could crack a wicked joke in four languages. As the friend who carefully and kindly tore his buddies' paper drafts to shreds. As the goofball who danced like a crazy person on the grass. And as the young man who chose to be warm and tender despite enduring hardships that would have turned many others cold and callous. My eternal love and respect to Ruslan and his many dear friends. Heidi LaVine
Even though I didn’t know Ruslan well, he was still a part of the Westminster College Community. At a small school, such as Westminster, we can easily pass by people and just say ‘Hi’ to each other on the way to class.
I remember Ruslan playing ping pong at JCI one day as I walked down the stairs after a workout. He would just smile at me and say ‘Hi’.
A tragic bike accident lead to the end of a wonderful future Ruslan could have experienced. But, he did live everyday to the fullest.
We will miss you, Ruslan! And never forget what a sweet, kind person you were!
All of us at Westminster College will never forget your sweet personality and that smile of yours! We will live on through the memories we have of you._____________________________________________________
Erin Wang '14
We use to work together at the Wetterau Gym together. The only thing i can say about Ruslan that he was a nice guy with a big smile on his face everytime you see him. We are all so sad to hear of this awful tragedy, and our hearts go out to Ruslan’s family and friends who we know will be going through such tough times and with such raw emotions over these coming days. Words are hard to find to express our grief adequately but know please that Ruslan will never be forgotten by us, and that our love for Ruslan will never fade. _____________________________________________________
Since childhood Ruslan was a very kind brother.I remember my 19th birthday and how sad I was that day, because it was the same year when I lost my mother, but Ruslan made me smile, he brought me a present-his handmade candlestick from the wood! At that moment a thought crossed my mind-that how happy I am to have such a lovely brother Ruslan, who loves me so much! (That year Ruslan was 10 years old) I love you too my dear brother very, very much! You will always live in my heart!!!
I can just say that my life has been enriched in knowing Ruslans.
He will never be forgotten by me.
Life may physically take loved ones away from you, but it can’t ever take away the love that will always exist within you ~ Themis Eagleson
F,G,H: Candles were lit for Ruslans at Westminster College's 9/11 anniversary events.
Memorial Service for Ruslans Petrovskis at Westminster College in Fulton, MO