Family remembers Oklahoma man extending final act of kindness

Jason Bartlett died in 2003 after being struck by lightning near Lake Eufaula. Bartlett was an organ donor.
by Adam Kemp Published: August 1, 2013
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Jason Bartlett made it a habit to make a stranger's day.

Bartlett would often pay for the other cars in the drive-thru, or leave a large tip for a waitress for no reason other than to brighten her day.

“He was always just really happy and really easy going guy,” Dan Schuart said. “He just wanted to spread the love to others.”

Bartlett's final act did just that.

On a hot August day in 2003, Bartlett, 29, was near the loading ramp at Lake Eufaula during the Southern Plains Festival for wakeboarding; a tournament Bartlett and his older brother, Jeff, started together in 1999.

Schuart, Bartlett's stepdad, called him on the phone to warn him that he was seeing lighting in the area and that he needed to get out of the water.

“Just a hot day with a clear blue sky,” Schuart said. “I saw lighting striking and called him to warn him. He was struck about 10 minutes later.”

Bartlett was killed instantly, leaving behind a wife and a 4-year-old child.

In one final act of kindness, Bartlett, who had always advocated to friends and family to become an organ donor, became one himself.

“I think it was four people,” Schuart said. “Four people who had their lives changed. When he would leave big tips or pay for things for others he never wanted them to know. So in a way it's fitting. Just a stranger helping out another stranger.”

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by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Newsok.com. Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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