MUSCATINE, Iowa — Many Muscatine residents watched Giles Joslyn grow up.
And now they are helping his family say goodbye to the talented violinist, 19, who took his life Thursday in his Muscatine family’s home, according to police records.
News of his death spread throughout the community Friday, eliciting sorrow and grief among the many people whose lives he touched.
According to his obituary, Joslyn began playing the violin for tips and food at Salvatore’s Ristoranti in downtown Muscatine when he was 11.
He saved $1,000 from that job, which he put toward the purchase of his first full-sized violin.
His great love for classical music inspired him to coordinate the fundraising concert Stringfest in 2010 and 2011. Proceeds from those concerts helped Muscatine High School students pay for private lessons and were used to purchase musical instruments for the school music program.
Joslyn, the son of Pam and James Joslyn, was a first-year student at Drake University in Des Moines.
During a March 2011 interview, he said he looked forward to majoring in music education and hoped to someday become a violin teacher at St. Joseph’s School of Music in St. Paul, Minn., where he took lessons as a child.
MHS principal Robert Weaton sent out a letter with the school’s Friday announcements, calling Joslyn’s death, “a tragic loss in our school community.”
“Many of our parents and community knew Giles, as an excellent student, gifted musician, selfless friend to others, a difference-maker in everything that he did, and a credit to his family,” Weaton wrote.
Counseling services for MHS staff and students were available Friday.
“As tough as it was emotionally, our staff did a good job of taking care of each other,” Weaton said.
Counselors will be available next week as necessary. The MHS counseling staff made connections with the University of Iowa to bring in additional resources.
“This tragedy will undoubtedly also impact many of our former and current students, staff and community members,” Weaton wrote.
Weaton encouraged parents and staff to pay close attention to students’ behaviors and conversations both at school and at home.
“It is extremely important that if you notice any change in temperament, conversation dwelling on this issue, or extreme mood changes, immediately notify the proper caregiver for assistance,” Weaton wrote.
Weaton said the Joslyn family wanted parents and the Muscatine community to know how grateful they are for the immediate love, support and prayers in dealing with their loss.
In addition to his parents, Joslyn is survived by his younger brother, both sets of grandparents and many aunts, uncles and cousins.