NIU student dies when life support is removed

By Mark McGowan

Jeff Lunsford was going to get a license plate that read “3 DEGREES” after he received his doctorate next May. Sadly, he will not have the chance.

Lunsford, 29, 806 Grove St., died Monday after being removed from life support systems at Saint Anthony’s Medical Center in Rockford. He was flown to Rockford by helicopter from Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

An aneurysm burst in his brain Saturday night, and he was removed from the system after all apparent brain activity disappeared, said Tracy Deis, former president of the Black Student Union.

Lunsford served as Black Graduate Student Association president last year, Deis said.

He also was active in tennis, basketball and photography, said Sylvester Lunsford, Lunsford’s mother. She said he also taught in the Lorton, Va., prison system and taught night school in Washington, D.C.

Jeff had a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in education, his mother said. She said his doctorate was going to be adult education.

A memorial service is being held Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for Lunsford at the Wesley Foundation, 633 Locust St. A memorial fund has also been established to help Lunsford’s parents in Pennsylvania. Donations can be directed to the Jeff Lunsford Memorial Fund in care of the Center for Black Studies.