MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the offices of the Buffalo High School yearbook and newspaper, school advisor Ryan McCallum thumbs through the precious photos of a talent taken far too young.
“It’s been impossible to accept,” McCallum said.
Incoming senior, Emma Rodelius, was going to be the yearbook’s editor-in-chief. Her photographic and writing skills were exceptional, McCallum said.
But it was her unique skill at winning over people that he remembers as her greatest attribute.
“She was an artist and her art was making people feel good about themselves. As a photographer, she captured that. As a leader, she made sure everyone was feeling good and she made that her art,” McCallum explains.
But the photograph that so suddenly shocked the community is of a three-vehicle crash just southwest of town.
Rodelius was killed when her car was struck by a dump truck as she crossed over County Road 35 at Dempsey Avenue Northwest around 5:34 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
For Buffalo High School Principal Mark Mischke, emotions run high as the sadness sets in.
“You can’t measure the impact (a person) has until in some cases, unfortunately, they’re not with you anymore. And Emma’s a classic example of that. She’s an amazing kid,” Mischke said.
The honor student, swimmer and aspiring photographer had an incredibly bright future. But friends say Rodelius’ memory and contributions to the community will be impossible to forget.
“I hear that story again and again, of how she jumped into people’s lives and made them better. Whether that was here or on a mission trip to the Dominican,” Rodelius said.
“When you met Emma you remembered her, you never forgot her. She’s one of a kind,” Mischke adds.