The Michael Ravenelle Story
By Nate Newman with additional writing by Brody Salazar
All photos courtesy of the Ravenelle family.
Michael Thomas Ravenelle (Nov. 20th, 1987 - Sept. 1st, 2018) was bright, caring, understanding and headstrong. Church organizations, weddings, magazines, personal projects, social events, car shows and more got a chance to work with Michael and witness his talents.
His pictures and work continue to move his family, friends, colleagues and the journalism department. Michael was heavily involved in shooting photos for Chaffey College events, the college newspaper The Breeze, sports pieces and church events. He covered the stories he felt should be heard, which resulted in his collaboration between photography and journalism.
Michael’s projects are still used as examples and inspirations to many today. A large gallery of the photos he took can be found on his Facebook.
According to his parents, Greg and Lynne Ravenelle, he strongly believed in the voices of others and in the spirit of God. He cared for people, their voices and the misunderstandings that sometimes were not heard or seen as important.
“You know, Michael couldn’t do a whole lot when it came to the car shows or the walking around much," said Greg Ravenelle, "but damn was that kid one of the toughest and strongest young men you’d ever seen. The heart and love he carried with 'em. He just wanted to be understood, you know.”
The love that Michael "carried" extended to school, counseling, journalism, photography, church events and assisting the community. He heard others out, and did his best to help. His passing brought those who worked alongside him to tears.
Michelle Dowd, one of Michael's journalism professors, knew him very well while he attended Chaffey College. Dowd spoke of him as being private, cheerful, passionate, smart and stern.
According to his parents, Michael was involved in a car accident that injured his back. The injury made it so that, at times, it was hard for him to stand up or respond to texts. In addition, dealing with the mental stress of constantly being evaluated in and out of the hospital took its toll on Michael.
Michael’s parents are still awaiting an autopsy and bodily chemical report, and it is unknown as to how or why this occurred. What is known is that he will always be in their memories.