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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Student dies in tragic car accident

Becky Blackburn planned to move to Colorado in May. She hoped to manage a hotel and spend her spare time skiing and being carefree.
Blackburn, a senior hospitality management major, died this past weekend in a car accident off of U.S. Route 41. Her car was discovered on Friday, Feb. 12 having gone off the road and flipped. Her body was found the next day in the Carp River. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
“She always wanted to manage a hotel; her main focus was to get out to Colorado and those mountains,” said Brittany Blackburn, Becky’s sister.

Becky Blackburn, who was expected to graduate in May, died this weekend and is survived by two brothers, two sisters, a niece, newphew, and friends. // Photo courtesy of Serra Hasenauer

Skiing was her passion. She spent a lot of time out in nature, going on hikes, taking walks and going on bike rides. According to those who knew her, Becky was always smiling, outgoing and optimistic. Her family and friends were very important to her, and she loved life.
“She’s just greatly missed, words can’t even describe,” Brittany said. “We really loved her, I mean … we don’t know how to go on.”
Sue, Becky’s mother, said that Becky has always cared tremendously for other people. When Becky was little, she wanted to be a mom when she grew up. Sue encouraged her to consider other professions, but Becky insisted that she wanted to be like her mom and bake cookies.
“When I think back, I think that’s why she went into the hospitality management, because it means that she could serve the public,” Sue said. “That’s what she wanted to do; she always wanted to help people and do things like a mom would do.”
Becky is survived by two brothers, two sisters, a niece, nephew and many friends.
“She was a beautiful person inside and out,” Sue said. “She had a beautiful smile all the time, she knew how to light up a room.”
Serra Hasenauer, a close friend of Becky and a senior nursing major, said that those who met Becky immediately fell in love with her because of her contagious spirit. Hasenauer said that she and Becky were inseparable and there was a lot about Becky that she admired, like her strength.
“She wouldn’t want me to be sad. She would want everyone to keep smiling and keep living for themselves and taking the time to live,” Hasenauer said.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, a number of Becky’s friends came together to decorate a four-foot wreath with bright silk flowers. It will be placed on the roadside near where Becky’s accident took place. When asking people to bring flowers, they requested that they be brightly colored.
“We want it to be bright, like Becky, forever, like her smile,” Hasenaur said.
Becky was employed at the Ramada and Vangos. She worked primarily at Vangos, and her co-workers agreed that Becky was full of life. Michelle Butler, an owner of Vangos, said that they are greatly affected by the loss.
“It’s just really hard for everyone to talk about it right now because we’re still trying to deal with it,” Butler said. “She was always warm. She was always happy.”

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