Judy and Doug Brobst sat at their kitchen table Wednesday morning, apologizing for their barking Australian Shepherds.
“These two have become really protective,” Judy said.
“In these last few days, certainly there’s no doubt the dogs sense these things,” Doug added. “They pick up on people’s feelings.”
Judy and Doug found out Sat., May 4 that their daughter, Amy, 23, died when a single-engine plane, piloted by her friend, 26-year-old Dale Butler, crashed in Nebraska.
Gazing at the grey and green walls in her kitchen, Judy remembers it was Amy who suggested those colors.
“She always had that creative side to her,” Judy said. “This is not something I would have picked but she knew it what was going to work. She had that eye, that talent.”
Originally an interior design major at Jacksonville University, Amy came to CSU to join the landscape architecture program after she was inspired by a guest speaker who came to one of her classes.
“She was hooked. It had a lot of the components of what she wanted in a career,” Patty said. “The design and creativity and not being stuck behind a desk working on a computer all day long. I think that’s what did it.”
Ben Canales met Amy in her sophomore year at CSU when they both applied to be ambassadors in the Department of Agriculture. Canales, also a landscape architecture major, said as Amy became his friend, she also became a mentor.
“She was all about tough love – non-candy coated advice, which I always appreciated from her,” Canales said.
Canales said he learned through Amy, who was a year ahead of him in school, what he could expect in the program and how to manage the workload.
“I don’t think I ever told her, but when I was a freshman I hadn’t even had my first design project and so I’d go over to her apartment and she’d have like three projects going,” Canales said. “She really had her stuff together.”
Canales said Amy was an influential mentor as he followed her through the program. While most of his memories of her are from their friendship outside of school, he remembers how passionate she was about the work she was doing.
“She’s a perfectionist, so while she is super fun she has her moments where she’s like – this is the way I want something done,” Canales said. “So she has a great balance.”
While she took school and her future career very seriously, Canales said he’ll remember Amy most for being goofy.
“This girl loves to wear mustaches,” Canales said. “I think every Tour de Fat year she has a moustache on.”
According to Amy’s high school friend Ari Curtis, Amy really grew into herself and became more outgoing after moving away from home.
“For as quiet and soft spoken as she was, she was one of the most social people I have ever known,” Curtis said. “I’ve never met so many different people through the same person. Every time I hung out with Amy, I’d meet someone new who loved her just as much as I did. That’s just how she was with people.”
Curtis said knowing the astounding amount of people who were impacted by Amy leaves her feeling comforted in the wake of this tragedy.
“The fact that she touched so many people’s lives has actually been comforting because you know that nobody is going to forget her. There are so many people who can fill in her story,” Curtis said. “She has close people in each part of her life that can keep her memory alive.”
Curtis, who ran track with Amy in high school, said it’s been really hard for their group to be apart during this difficult time but the support they’ve been able to give each other has been invaluable.
“The five of us, we were family,” Curtis said. “We really truly did become who we were, I think, through each other. It’s been hard this week… it’s been hard to be apart from each other, to deal with this because we were like a unit.”
According to Amy’s college roommate, Jenna Meeks, Amy had very close friends but made everyone she was with feel like they were her best friend.
“She was probably the easiest person to get along with that I have ever met,” Meeks said. “That’s why she had so many groups of friends.”
Meeks said that it’s been wonderful seeing the outpouring of support and love on Facebook since Amy’s passing. She remembers the Amy they all knew, but as her roommate, Meeks said she was more than an outgoing, adventurous spirit.
“Reading all the comments on Facebook, they all remember her being really adventurous and took the bull by the horns but I found, as her roommate, she was adventurous but she was also meticulous. She wouldn’t make a decision without a lot of thought,” Meeks said.
Since finding out about the accident, Meeks said it’s been difficult realizing Amy is not a phone call away anymore.
“I can’t even tell you how many times I still pick up my phone and think about texting or calling her and you just can’t,” Meeks said. “You appreciate different things when you know you’re never going to see them again. She was very genuine and very honest about her feelings. She always was aware of your feelings and made sure you knew she valued your friendship.”
Meeks remembered Amy had recently been considering getting a tattoo. She was trying to decide between the phrase “Above all: to thine own self be true” or “Never look back. Never look forward.”
Amy’s parents are setting up a scholarship in Amy’s name with the College of Agriculture.
“She hoped one day she’d have enough money to start a scholarship,” Judy said. “This is her legacy.”
A Celebration of Amy’s Life will be held Saturday, May 11, at 12:00 p.m. in the South Auditorium of Timberline Church, 2908 South Timberline Road in Fort Collins.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to a scholarship fund in Amy’s honor at:https://advancing.colostate.edu/AMYBROBSTSCHOLARSHIP
Contributions to the fund may also be made with checks payable and mailed to Colorado State University Foundation, P.O. Box 1870, Fort Collins, CO 80522. Please note the name of Amy Brobst on your check.
Senior Reporter Kate Simmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.