Morgan Lewis died on the Northern State University campus from a gunshot wound to the neck more than three years ago. Investigators determined it was suicide, which left his domestic partner James Buck without some life insurance benefits.
Lewis' estate has been in a battle with the state over the benefits. The two sides have now settled, but that doesn't make it easier for those who knew Lewis.
It was nearing the end of 2004 when Morgan Lewis died, but for those on the NSU campus who knew him, it doesn't seem that long ago.
"I can't walk past through that archway without knowing what happened to him and still not knowing how or why," Casey Black said.
It was outside Seymour Hall where he died, but inside the building where he worked. He made a difference in the short time he headed the German Program.
"Active, dedicated, personable, I thought we were really lucky to find him," Black said.
Black worked with Lewis not even a full semester but says Lewis worked hard and was someone the department would likely have tried hanging on to.
"Seemed intent on building the program and it was like new blood. It was exciting to have him around," Black said.
That along with his experience and skills are things Black says made him a good addition to the NSU campus.
"There before anybody else and often there after everybody left too," Black said.
And he says, Lewis would have been a good addition today too.
"He would have had a permanent position on the faculty," Black said. "He had a future here."
There was supposed to be a hearing about the benefits next week, but it's been cancelled because of the settlement.