New York Times, International. October 16, 2002
Surfing, Teaching and Rugby Drew 3 Americans
By The New York Times/Chris Dixon
The three Americans who are thought to have been killed in
the Bali bombing represented the diverse reasons that send
people to the far corners of the earth.
Stephen Webster, 41, a husband and a father of two from
Huntington Beach, Calif., was on a surfing trip with two
friends, Steve Cabler and John Parodi, to celebrate his
Deborah Lea Snodgrass, 33, lived in Europe and the Pacific
Rim for most of the last decade, said her aunt, Pat Beaty.
She lived for the past four years in Bali, teaching English
and consulting in the design and fashion industry.
Jake Young, 34, a lawyer and former football all-American
at the University of Nebraska, was in Bali to play in a
weekend rugby tournament. He was playing for the final time
with a team from Hong Kong, where he had worked for the
past two years. He was scheduled to move this week to
Kansas City to start a new job at the Dickinson Financial
Mr. Webster's friend, Mr. Cabler, was with him when the
bomb struck. "I tried to get him out, but the roof fell
down on him," Mr. Cabler told the Orange County Register.
Mr. Cabler flew to Los Angeles on Monday evening, deaf in
one ear, his shoulder broken and his hand burned. Mr.
Parodi, apparently not injured, stayed in Bali to help Mr.
Trent Walker, Mr. Webster's best friend of 22 years, did
not make the trip but had surfed with him in Tahiti,
Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica. He was Mr. Webster's best
man. "He had a huge circle of friends," Mr. Walker said.
"In fact, his nickname was `instabro,' because he became
everyone's `bro.' "
Mr. Webster worked as an environmental consultant and
shared an office with Mr. Walker across the street from the
beach. "In between work," said another friend, Jim Hogan,
"you could always stop in, grab a board and go out for a
Mr. Hogan, a former professional surfer, was a longtime
friend of Mr. Webster. "He loved to live," Mr. Hogan said.
"He worked really hard, was dedicated to his family and was
always looking for a surfing adventure."
Though details are sketchy, Ms. Snodgrass was apparently
killed by a flying object as she crossed a street in front
of the crowded Sari nightclub. Ms. Snodgrass had a gift for
languages and spoke at least four well. She was born in
Springfield, Mo., and graduated from the University of
Arizona in 1992 with a political science degree.
"She was just pursuing her life," said Ms. Beaty. "She was
a very inclusive person and she liked finding out about
different cultures and different religions and different
places on the globe.
"These young people are dying a political death," Ms. Beaty
said, "but they didn't live a political life. Debbie just
wanted to see the whole world, and I think she was hoping
that her passport would fill up with every country's
Friends and family of Mr. Young said yesterday that they
continued to hope that he was alive. Mr. Young's wife,
Laura, and their 2-year-old son, Wilson, had flown to
Kansas City ahead of him.
Friends remembered Mr. Young as a loving bear of a man. A
native of Midland, Tex., Mr. Young became the first
freshman to play offensive lineman for the University of
Nebraska. There, he was a consensus all-American in 1988
and 1989 and also was named an academic all-American.
"He was an extremely humble man," said a close friend, Paul
Holewinski. "He did not lead every conversation with, `I
was an all-American at Nebraska.' "
In 2000, when a job opened in the Hong Kong office of the
law firm Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells, Mr. Holewinski
said, Mr. Young saw an opportunity to take an adventurous
leap in his career.
"Everybody here who knew Jake liked Jake," Mr. Holewinski
said. "If you were out with him for an evening, you had to
plan 44 minutes or an hour to leave. That's how long it
would take Jake to get to the door. He knew everybody and
had something to say to everyone."
Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company