First-year student remembered for her humor


Alena Johnson (pictured on right) accepting JROTC senior award. (Photo from Battle Ground ISD)

By Kylie Walker and Kristen Weaver

Those who had the chance to know first-year student Alena Jarvis remember her as an energetic, upbeat person who always put others before herself and made everyone around her laugh.

Jarvis, a first-year political science major from Battle Ground, Washington died Wednesday at the age of 19. Her death was ruled a suicide.

Her best friend of seven years, Talia Orelli, 19, said Jarvis had a unique sense of humor.

“I would cry from laughing so hard,” said Orelli.

She said Jarvis would give people nicknames simply to make them smile.

Photo from Alena Jarvis' Facebook page.
Photo from Alena Jarvis’ Facebook page.

“She called me Talia Bedalia and I called her Harvey, because one time someone mistook her last name for Harvis instead of Jarvis,” Orelli remembered, laughing. “It made her so mad.”

Jarvis graduated from Battle Ground High School. Her senior year, she received the General George C. Marshall Youth Leadership Award, which is presented to a high school senior who “demonstrates leadership, takes a stand for the rights of others, serves as a role model, shows initiative and motivates others to become involved,” according to The George C. Marshall Foundation.

Joshua Jimenez, Jarvis’ JROTC coach at her high school in Battle Ground, remembers her as incredibly motivated and an inspiration to her peers.

“The impact she had on students, someone could be around her and be very discouraged, but she always knew what to say to get them to re-evaluate where they were at and give them inspiration,” Jimenez said.

Jarvis, though small in stature, made her presence known with her robust voice. Jimenez said at one physical training (PT) session she yelled so hard and loud that her voice gave out.

“Her voice got extremely raspy, and it got to a point where she sounded more manlier than most of the dudes there,” Jimenez said. “But she worked hard, if not harder than them.”

Jarvis had plans to go into the military and later begin a career at the State Department. According to The Reflector, she had an interest in signals intelligence, the analysis of electronic data and information gathered and intercepted during surveillance to provide critical security information to policy makers and the armed forces.

Orelli said above all, Jarvis’ compassion and care for others will live on.

“She always cared about me more than herself,” Orelli said. “She supported me through hard times.”

The campus learned of her death Monday from a student-wide email sent from Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull.

“We are saddened by the loss of a valued member of our community and our thoughts and prayers are with Alena’s family at this time,” Cavins-Tull wrote.

Her family has not released any information regarding funeral or memorial services.

“This is, of course, a very difficult time for them,” wrote Juli Hamilton, a family spokesperson. “Alena was their entire world, and she meant a great deal to the AFJROTC cadets and families here at home.”

Cavins-Tull urged students in need of assistance to contact the Brown-Lupton Counseling Center, Religious and Spiritual Life, the Office of Campus Life or any other campus resource.

“There are so many people who will miss her,” Orelli said.