Nathan Strube's loved ones remember boy killed in skateboard accident
May 17, 2012 (The Daily Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Nathan Strube, a Mendenhall Middle School student killed last week when he struck a pickup while riding a skateboard, will be remembered Saturday at a celebration-of-life service.
The 5 p.m. event is open to everyone and will be at Sunset Park, 1055 Geneva St. Those attending are asked to bring blankets or lawn chairs and finger foods to share.
"Nate loved the outdoors, so we're having it at a park," said his father, Sam Strube, an assistant principal at Williams Middle School in Tracy. "He loved his friends and family, so they will all be there. He loved to eat, so there will be food. And he loved music, so we'll be playing music from his iPod."
On May 8, Nathan Strube, 13, was riding his longboard downhill from Kara Place when he turned onto Lomitas Avenue and collided with the side of a pickup pulling a landscaping trailer. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
"All indications are showing that the driver was not at fault," said Livermore police Sgt. John Hurd.
"The poor guy was just working and doing his job and driving to another job site," Sam Strube said of the driver. "It's just a terrible thing, and it wasn't his fault."
Nathan was very close to his brother, Calvin, 10, and to his mother, Katie Strube, a teacher at Rancho Las Positas Elementary in Livermore, he said.
Sam Strube said his wife has been devastated by the loss. Calvin's friends have been a consistent presence and have been keeping
him busy, Sam Strube said.
"Calvin told me he wanted to wish his mother 'Happy Mother's Day,' but it wasn't happy. He told his mom he loved her, and that was the perfect gift," Sam Strube said.
Students at Mendenhall Middle School have been writing the characteristics that best described Nathan on cards. The family plans to give an award to a student who best exemplifies those characteristics. They haven't decided what the award will be, but they're thinking a scholarship might be the answer.
Nathan Strube was often seen riding his skateboard or bicycle around Livermore, and he liked to stop and talk to neighbors, Sam Strube said.
"People come up and tell us stories about Nate," he said. "That's the best thing. It's comforting to know that people care."
He described Nathan as a thoughtful and conscientious child who was mechanically inclined and who was a voracious reader of science fiction books, such as "Dragon Rider" and "The Hunger Games."
"At 8, he could take apart a lawn mower engine and put it back together and it would work," Sam Strube said.
The father and son spent countless hours in their garage working on the shell of a 1967 Chevrolet Nova. They were thinking about getting it running so they could sell it, but Sam Strube said he now hopes to fix it up and keep it in memory of his son.
"He was an awesome kid," he said. "He was always a great companion, ever since he was little."
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/jason_sweeney.
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