ST. GEORGE — Collin Kartchner, an advocate against cyberbullying and a frequent speaker at local schools, died unexpectedly at 40 years old.
The death was announced by his wife Elizabeth Kartchner Wednesday on Instagram. His passing was described as unexpected, but no further information was revealed as to the cause of death.
“My whole world is gone. … We’ve never known such pain,” his wife said in the Instagram post. “He peacefully passed away unexpectedly due to natural causes in his beautiful body that we are unclear of yet.”
Kartchner led the #savethekids movement where he advocated for protecting children from cyberbullies and other harmful elements on social media.
“Kids need our eyes and our love and validation more than ever before,” Kartchner told St. George News in 2018. “Showing your kids you love them is 2% effort and 98% just putting down your phone.”
Michelle Rigby, the managing director of #savethekids, emphasized the suddenness of Kartchner’s passing.
“He was perfectly healthy and in great shape,” Rigby told St. George News. “ We don’t know the cause of death yet. It was sudden … unexpected.”
Thursday evening, Utah first lady Jeanette Herbert issued a statement regarding Kartchner’s death.
“Our family was deeply saddened to hear of Collin’s death. He was an incredible advocate for our youth and was one of the favorite speakers at our Uplift Families Parent Conferences. He had an immense impact on many families — not only in Utah, but worldwide,” Herbert said. “Collin taught us to be present, to put down our devices, and to safeguard our children from social media. The entire Hebert family prays for Collin’s sweet wife, Elizabeth, and their children.”
According to his website, Collin Kartchner spoke at more than 500 venues and was a frequent speaker in Southern Utah on several school campuses.
Kartchner was outspoken about getting children off social media and not giving kids smartphones, calling them the “new drug of choice in homes.”
Along with his wife, Kartchner leaves behind four children: Avery, Quincey, Lola and Myles.
Updated 8:45 p.m., Oct. 22: Statement from Utah first lady Jeanette Herbert.
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