Joseph Rommel, a parks and recreation major, died July 14, 2009, near Sunset Crater. He was 22.
Originally from Tucson and a graduate of Salpointe High School, Mr. Rommel lived in Flagstaff for the past four years while attending Northern Arizona University. He worked at Babbitt’s Backcountry and pursued his passion for the outdoors as a guide for Grand Canyon Hikes. Mr. Rommel also donated hundreds of hours as a volunteer for the Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. His love for hiking and appreciation of nature was captured in his skilled photography and talented writings.
“Joe will be missed in the Parks and Recreation Management program,” said Pam Foti, chair of Geography, Planning and Recreation. “We’re a close program and our students are part of our extended family. Joe was a really great guy, a good student and a friend. We cared about Joe and he will always be remembered as part of our program.”
He is survived by his mother, Nancy; father, Rick; brother, Tyler; soul mate, Katy Gutzwiller, and many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by grandparents, Fred and Peggy Gintz and Bud Rommel.
A memorial service for Mr. Rommel will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, at Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, coconinosar.org/donations.