Craig Amundson always found computers easy to work with.
It was not only what would lead him to his job at the Pentagon doing computer graphics, but it was a way he found he could help people out.
That included his parents, who run a pharmacy in Hartville, Mo., a town of 700 people in the southwest part of the state.
Earlier this year, he designed a Web page for Star Pharmacy that provided health tips to people who logged on.
"Thanks to Craig Amundson, Webmeister extraordinary, for designing our Web site. A fantastic job. Many thanks for many hours of work," his parents, Orland and Karen, wrote on the site's guestbook after it opened in January.
It was a typical exchange in the close-knit family, said Mary McAfoos, Craig's aunt.
"They're very close. They all drove out there over two days last week" to be at Craig's home in Ft. Belvoir, Va., McAfoos said from her home in Kansas City, Mo. "It's a very tragic time. It has been ups and downs. We're pretty devastated."
Raised in a small town in Iowa, Amundson, 28, had moved his wife and two children to the Washington, D.C. area two years ago to take the job there. He had a bachelor's degree in film studies from the University of Iowa and worked as a multimedia illustrator for the Army's deputy chief of staff for personnel command.
"How do you describe a person?" McAfoos said. "He was optimistic. Had an easy laugh. And he adored his family."
He adored them so much that he turned down a recent promotion because it would have separated him from his family for a while.
"He was just a super nice kid," said Trina VanderBogart a pharmacy technician at his parent's store in Hartville.
A memorial service for Amundson will be held Saturday morning in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington, Va. A graveside service will follow at Arlington National Cemetery.
Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.