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UW-L student dies in Miami

Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 18:04




UW-L junior Julia Sumnicht died unexpectedly Monday while on a spring break trip to Florida.

According to Dean of Students Paula Knudson, Sumnicht died in her sleep while on a trip to Miami, Florida. Other sources say she may have been there on a trip with a modeling agency.

Sumnicht, whose family lives in Hobart, near Green Bay, was a resident of Hutchison Hall, where she had "developed some deep friendships," Knudson said. Sumnich was a communication studies major focusing on sports broadcasting.

The cause of death is currently not known by authorities, and test results may not be available for several weeks, said the Miami-Dade medical examiner's office.

Knudson said Sumnicht's friends and family described her as "compassionate, fun, loving, and loyal," and said she also loved animals and was a big Brett Favre fan, whom she admired because of his passion for football, according to her obituary.

Sumnicht's obituary also described her as having gifts for music, dancing, and art, and said she was "beautiful inside and out from the day she was born."

Her sister Johanna Sumnicht, with whom Julia shared a deep friendship, is also a UW-L student. Johanna was also in Florida over spring break on a trip with Campus Crusade, Knudson said. 

UW-L officials corrected a previous campus-wide e-mail that said Julia was also in Florida with Campus Crusade, which Campus Crusade said was inaccurate.

A funeral service for Sumnicht was held Saturday in Green Bay.

UW-L will hold a grief support session for all students at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 22 in 332 Cartwright.

Sumnicht's full obituary appeared Friday in the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

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Mon Mar 29 2010 17:31
I usually don't comment on these things, but I had to this time. I am so upset with DrockatGBtown's response!!! Do you know her???? She was a good friend of my daughter. She was a wonderful friend and will be missed by not only her family, but by many many friends she made in her very short life. Please choose your words more wisely when you comment next time and be considerate to all who are grieving loss.
Mon Mar 22 2010 21:47
No one knows the cause of death and the rumors that are spreading throughout campus are disgusting. Have some respect for our peers. This could have happened to any student here at UW-L or at any other campus. I would hope that Julia's situation won't cause people to speculate and blame her parents for Christ's sake. Everything happens for a reason.
Family Friend
Sun Mar 21 2010 07:14
I know the Sumnicht family very well. They are a wonderful family with very strong Christian values and beliefs. The four Sumnicht children were home schooled through grade school to give them the best possible foundation. Marie Sumnicht was a stay at home mom spending her time with her children, family, church, and volunteering even though she could have earned a very good income based on her skills and education. However, the Sumnicht family put family and giving ahead of money and possesions. The Sumnicht family were and are very involved with their church and community putting God first and Family second. Not many families can say this in today's world. The Sumnicht family should be admired and I very much respect them. I don't know what happened to Julia to cause her death and it is none of my business. I truely belief Julia knew the Lord and accepted Jesus into her heart and is now in heaven. With that said I feel terrible and grieve for the Sumnicht family and everyone who knew Julia.
Enough is enough
Sat Mar 20 2010 12:35
The phrase self-righteous comes to mind. What happened to compassion and empathy? It seems some people here lack the humility to not judge the upbringing of a poor deceased young girl I'd bet NONE of them ever met.
Sat Mar 20 2010 12:03
I can't believe you guys can sit here and talk about her parents not raising her right when they're daughter just passed away. Show some respect.
Sat Mar 20 2010 00:43
to DrockatGBtown
You wrote, "First of all this should be a wake up call for the parents. Did they do the best they could to raise her right and show her God is number one...?"
If you only knew the fine Christian home where Julia was raised, the faith of not only her parents but also Julia and her siblings, you'd be ashamed of yourself for writing such things. Julia is resting in the loving arms of her Lord and Savior right now.
Any One Who Cares about Eternal Life
Fri Mar 19 2010 12:57
Read the Green Bay Press Gazette FAITH section today. There is an article on why we all need to ask for forgiveness for our sins and repent if we are not living a life the way God intended us to.
Fri Mar 19 2010 11:02
No judgements here. I agree she could of just as well worked at a Mom and Pop country kitchen. Sure, she would of made less money to get through college. Just remember Money is Root of all evil! We base our lives around how much we make and how we look. I hope this helps you understand "mschmer"
Fri Mar 19 2010 10:45
this is hardly the time to start arguments over this girl's death. no one even knows what happened to her so we should wait before we start judging.
Fri Mar 19 2010 10:37
So this story is not even 24 hours old and your already preaching your religious dogma about it? I was raised in a Christian household and I don't ever remember being taught to use a tragic event such as this one to pass judgements on how others choose to live their lives. Just because you read an obituary saying she worked at a hooters restaurant (and by the way, who in their right mind would ever call Hooters a family restaurant? Really?!) doesn't mean you have any insight into how she lived her life. Show some respect for the deceased and those survived by them.
Fri Mar 19 2010 10:06
This is Very Sad! God has many mysterious ways of showing his love for people. First you should not be too concerned why she died. She has passed and that was God's plan for her. We hope she had accepted Jesus in her heart. The Sins and desires of our fallen world have a hold on too many young people in our country and around the world. According to her obituarie she worked at Hooters (Full of Sin and NOT a family restaurant). We live in a country where women wear tight shirts and shorts that show all sorts of cleavage and we call that a family restaurant and most of us say its ok for our children to not only work there but to go there. First of all this should be a wake up call for the parents. Did they do the best they could to raise her right and show her God is number one and Beauty really does not matter? Too many parents are raising children in a world the way the media tells us is right. The Media is the Devil. Music is the Devil if it does not glorify God. So much in this world is not good and Jesus is waiting to return. Are you ready for his Resurrection?
Fri Mar 19 2010 08:43
I went to HS with Julia and nobody is saying what happened. Rumors are swirling but we have yet to hear a reason.

Anonymous- if you think this is poorly reported, NE Wisconsin hasn't even mentioned it. All that has been reproted is her obituary. You would think that the town she is from would have a little bit of information that they would share?!

I think it's kind of annoying that there isn't any details. I understand the privacy and whatnot, but if it's something that parents could talk about with their kids (especially with it being spring break time... this could be a safety issue?), why not share that information? Put people's minds at ease to know if she had a peaceful passing or if something bad happened.

Fri Mar 19 2010 08:36
This has been one of the most poorly reported and edited stories I have seen in a long time.
Thu Mar 18 2010 18:51
What exactly caused the poor girls death? Such a tragedy.

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