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Naperville friends killed at Astroworld concert mourned, celebrated

The lives of two inseparable Naperville friends were celebrated when their deaths together in a concert tragedy on November 5th were mourned during Saturday’s funeral services.

College students Franco Patino and Jacob “Jake” Jurinek, who attended the same grade, middle, and high school, died with eight others when a crowd poured toward rapper Travis Scott at the Houston Astroworld Music Festival.

At a service for Patino at the Holy Spirit Catholic Community Church in Naperville, Rev. John Sponder highlighted the 21-year-old’s love for his family, “his great friendship with Jacob, his favorite saint, St. John Paul II. .. and his great devotion to the superheroes Superman and Batman.

“Why should we mention that today? I know, not so much that they were very important to both Franco and Jacob – but for what they stood for, ”added Sponder. “Fight crime, defend, protect, love and serve others.”

After graduating from Neuqua Valley High School, where he and Jurinek played on the soccer team, Patino studied mechanical engineering at the University of Dayton in Ohio. A number of his brotherhood brothers from Alpha Psi Lambda attended the mass on Saturday.

Jurinek studied journalism at Southern Illinois University. His funeral mass was held at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Darien on Saturday morning, the day he would have turned 21.

“One of the things I have always admired about Jacob was his knowledge of human nature,” Jurinek’s friend Emma Braning said at a campus memorial on November 8, according to a story in The Daily Egyptian. “He made friends everywhere he went … plus, I’ve never heard him say negative things about anyone. I guarantee you, if you smiled or waved in his direction, I’d probably heard about them,” she said.

The two young men also suffered from adversity. Jurinek’s mother died in 2011 and Patino’s mother has difficulty walking due to an illness.

Patino’s brother Julio Patino Jr. told the Daily Herald the two were “so close together. They were like brothers, ”he said. “Even at the very end they were together.”

Sponder recalled that Patino’s parents showed him one of the last photos of their son that were taken at the concert.

“It was one of those animated pictures where Franco was enjoying the crowd… the singing and laughing, and he turned his face to whoever was photographing him. And when he turned his face you could see it very clearly – it was the best and biggest smile, “said Sponder.

“It was a moment worth praying and thinking about. What does that mean? There he enjoyed the company of his best friend, enjoyed the music and the laughter … don’t worry. Somehow, maybe with that smile he saw something we didn’t see. Maybe a way of telling all of us, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be fine.’ “

• The Daily Herald reporters Steve Zalusky and Katlyn Smith contributed to this report.

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