The Fall of a Sparrow (A true story)

Author Kent Koppelman

This is a true story written by one of the professors from UW La Crosse . Kent lost his son, Jason, as a result of a car accident. It is a story of death, dreams, and healing.

On Sept. 13, 1989 Jason was on his way home from work when he lost control of his vehicle near La Crescent, and lost his life at the age of 19. At 11 p.m. Jason’s parents received that “dreaded phone call” that no parent wants to hear from the sheriff’s office.

Kent shares a very personal story with the reader including their visit to the hospital, how to tell Jason’s sister of their loss, the funeral planning, visits from family and friends and their grieving process.

Jason was a Central High School graduate and was attending Viterbo intending to pursue a career in film and broadcasting. When his life journey ended so abruptly, his life continued for others through his gift of life.

The many memories of Jason shared through his poetry among family and friends makes this story very special and heartwarming.

A holiday tradition since the accident in 1989 was to put a Christmas tree at the grave site that was decorated in movie memorabilia, because movies were an important part of Jason’s life. Sadly on Dec. 13, 1994, someone stole the tree! By stealing the tree the thieves also stole the family’s most precious memory of Jason, but the tradition continued.

Kent shows the reader there are healing choices and things one can do to gain control even during the helplessness and hopeless periods of our lives.

I especially was interested in this book because Kent had been one of my college professors. Since I write poetry I enjoyed Jason’s poetry that was shared within the story.

What part did Garrison Keillor play in the story and in Jason’s life?

How did Jason’s death change Kent’s life?

The “Fall of a Sparrow” is a great read for anyone and helps overcome grief.


Westby Times editor

Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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