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November: Grand Forks Herald, November 29, 1995
MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY
PAINTING MEMORIALIZES FRATERNITY BROTHERS LOST IN PLANE CRASH
Naomi Dunavan, Herald Staff Writer
``Sixty-four hours and 64 million prayers.''
That's how long it took to find Trevor Acheson and Richard Cadieux, and that's about how many prayers Jake Kramlich figures were offered for the two.
It's also the title Kramlich gave the painting he completed in 20 hours in memory of the two UND students and fellow Sigma Nu fraternity brothers who died in a plane crash Nov. 10 near Fond du Lac, Wis. Both were from Winnipeg.
A junior in aviation, Acheson was the pilot. Cadieux was a freshman in physical therapy. They were going to visit family and friends in Fond du Lac. The wreckage was found Nov. 13 in an icy marsh. The accident is under investigation.
Some Sigma Nu fraternity brothers went to aid in the search. Kramlich stayed behind to work dispatch between UND and the site.
Kramlich had fallen asleep and dreamed he was swooping the landscape at the speed of sound looking for Acheson and Cadieux.
``It was like I was this plane and I was cruising over the landscape extremely fast,'' he said.
With someone's words, ``they found the plane, they found the plane,'' Kramlich was jarred awake and almost immediately began the labor of love pastel painting of Acheson and Cadieux complete with various symbols to tell stories of their days at UND.
``This is a collection of the stories all of us here remember them by,'' Kramlich said.
The 11-inch-by-18-inch painting is done in blues, greens, yellows and purples. ``I did the whole thing with my finger, basically,'' Kramlich said.
Kramlich's painting was displayed at the front of the church during the funeral for Acheson and Cadieux, and Kramlich presented a copy to both sets of parents at a reception after the service in Winnipeg on Nov. 17.
``Many times in deaths like this, parents want any link,'' Kramlich said. ``I painted it and the house took a collection to get it framed. We did it so their parents would have something to remember them by; what they did at school. Their parents were extremely touched.''
Now, Kramlich has had 40 requests for copies.
A dove in the middle of the painting symbolizes the carrying of the soul. Kramlich included a Maple Leaf lake because they were from Canada. UND letters form another lake and there's a Sigma Nu eternal light with the Sigma Nu house in the shadows.
Kramlich explained other symbolic memories. ``There are funny kinds of memories. Trevor was really rambunctious and an extremely funny guy. He was a powerhouse. Richard was the social chair for the pledge class. He was so organized and so generous. And, he was so inquisitive. That's what the question mark in the painting is for.''
There's an image of Cadieux pulling up carpet, which he did so willingly when the frat house was offered replacement carpeting. There are ``lightning bolts for his energy.''
Acheson had lived in the Sigma Nu house for three years. Cadieux lived in Walsh Hall. ``Everybody knew Trevor. He was the warmest, friendliness guy,'' Kramlich said. ``He was so spontaneous and humorous. Richard was extremely giving and the hardest worker.''
Kramlich did the painting for another reason. ``If they came back, I wanted them to see how worried we were about them and how we all came together.''
More than a dozen dry floral arrangements sent to the men of Sigma Nu remain on top the grand piano in the house. Cards and notes are scattered among the vases.
The painting of Acheson and Richard Cadieux will hang in the library of the fraternity house near pictures of Daniel McAlpine and Philip Steffen, UND Sigma Nu members who also were killed in a plane crash in 1990.
Kramlich, a junior in advertising art and computer design, said this tragedy has taught the fraternity ``togetherness and how much everybody is backing each other. Everybody talks about brotherhood and that's what it came down to. The house came together so beautifully over the whole thing. There were 50 people going nuts to do anything for these guys.''