ROCHESTER — Andrea Gierok described her son, Winona senior Logan Monk, as goofy — in all caps.
Monk was a lot of other things, too: Kind, respectful, always hungry, in tune with others’ emotions, focused, goal-oriented, shy and quiet, according to his mom and Oscar Uribe, the Winona soccer coach who coached Monk since he was 11.
“He was coachable. He was willing to listen and work hard to improve,” Uribe said. “Every time he had an opportunity to go into the game, he gave 100%. He came back to soccer this year at the high school level. It was very nice to see him back, just because of his quiet leadership.”
Gierok and Uribe remembered Monk, who died Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, after an early morning crash Tuesday, Jan. 17. The Winona County Sheriff’s Office said the 17-year-old was driving south on Winona County Road 20 just after 6 a.m. when his car slid into the northbound lane and collided with a school bus head-on.
He was taken to Gundersen Health System-La Crosse, where he passed away on Thursday. Monk chose to be an organ donor when he got his driver’s license.
“His organs were donated to six other people on Saturday,” Gierok said. “That is his legacy.”
In addition to playing soccer, Monk was also a swimmer. The Winona swim and dive team wrote on Facebook that he was “an incredibly hard worker, as dedicated as they come (he even turned down being a Captain because he wanted to focus instead on his performances), and a fiercely loyal friend.”
Monk was a Miami Dolphins fan for life, Gierok said, and loved tennis equally. He loved to travel to places like the Boundary Waters and Alaska — anywhere he could be by the water with sea animals.
Gierok said her son was an outdoorsman who loved fishing and the weather. When Monk was a toddler, he had a Fisher Price scooter he took everywhere.
“Instead of sitting on it like you’re supposed to, he would stand up and push it,” she said. “We couldn’t go anywhere without it.”
After graduation in the spring, Monk was set to attend St. Cloud State University for meteorology.
“In December, Andrea came to my house to pick up his senior (soccer) banner because she was planning to have it for his graduation party,” Uribe said. “All those moments we no longer are going to be able to experience with him … those are the things that are on my mind often.”
Uribe and the Winona community are feeling the weight of Monk’s loss because of the person he was: “He loved to make people laugh. He loved his dogs,” Gierok said, “and he fiercely loved his family and friends.”
Gierok said she wants people to remember Monk as the “goofy, witty kid with a big smile, but mostly his genuine kindness towards others.”
Monk’s passing provided Uribe a lesson in spreading the kindness and love Monk showed others.
“I went every night to the hospital when he was there. You see him, and then you come back home and it's like, ‘I need to live my life better,’” he said. “I need to hug my kids. I need to care for others. You forget about those things day to day.”
A celebration of life for Monk will be held at noon Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Winona Senior High School gym. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 at the Hoff Celebration of Life Center in Goodview and an hour before the celebration of life at 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday. His family encourages attendees to wear Winona Winhawk gear, Miami Dolphins colors or your favorite sports team's gear.