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In Memoriam: Christopher Shea

Caroline Fassett, Elizabeth Worthington, News Editor, Assistant News Editor

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The University community mourns the loss of Christopher Shea ’18. Shea died suddenly on April 8 at his home in Glen Cove, N.Y.

“I am saddened by the passing of Chris Shea and extend my deepest sympathy to all those who knew Chris and loved him. Students seeking support are encouraged to reach out to the Counseling & Student Development Center, the Office of the Chaplains & Religious Life, and staff in the Division of Student Affairs,” Dean of Students Amy Badal said.

Shea was a member of the men’s club squash team and a brother of FIJI fraternity.

“Chris was known for his high-energy personality. He [was] the type of person to take over a room with his positive energy. No matter your mood, talking to Chris inevitably made you smile,” Spencer Smith ’17 said.

Smith knew Shea as both a teammate and a fraternity brother.

Smith also called Shea “a very talented” squash player, who, as a first-year, was included in the top half of the team’s starting lineup.

“Everyone on the team will miss him because he boosted morale with his natural sense of humor, contagious smile and love for the game,” Smith said.

The Greek community showed solidarity by canceling social events over the weekend. In lieu of the scheduled Greek Week activities, various Greek organizations sent food and flowers to the FIJI fraternity house.

Sander Wrede ’18, friend and fraternity brother of Shea, said that members of FIJI spent the night of April 8 sharing memories of Shea. Wrede described Shea as “the happiest kid you could ever meet.”

“Literally, his smile lit up the room…You could be in [the worst] mood, and you’d see Chris, and you’d just start laughing because he would make a stupid joke that wasn’t funny. He’d just make you laugh because he was Chris.”

Wrede also said that Shea, a piano and guitar player, cultivated his love for music, dedicating much of his free time to composing Electronic Dance Music (EDM).

“He would spend hours and hours and hours on his computer, with his headphones on, just clicking away at the beats. That was his real passion, making those songs.”

Wrede and many of Shea’s other friends traveled to Long Island, New York to attend the wake and funeral services on April 11-12, where people “were lining up out of the door.”

“Two of his friends from home spoke about him at the reception, and they hit the nail on the head… you just can’t describe him, you can’t. ‘Shea’ is an adjective; he coined a personality. I will never, ever meet someone who has the same personality as Chris Shea,” Wrede said.

Wrede, who last saw Shea when he visited the University over the weekend of April 1-2, continued to say that, though Shea had been off campus for much of the semester, nothing about him had changed. 

“That kid didn’t change for anyone. He was himself one hundred percent of the time. He had the funniest mannerisms, and these little one-liners.

Wrede would often meet Shea and other University students in New York City on breaks.

“One night we all went to the city, and came back and crashed at my house. We had a very late but fun night. In the morning [Shea] woke up, and he realized that he lost his wallet the night before, so he couldn’t pay for any train tickets. I gave him a ride all the way back to his house [in Long Island]. It was the most typical Chris move ever,” Wrede recalled.

Sarah Fraser ’16, a friend of Shea, said, “[He] was truly one of a kind.  He had an infectious smile and a presence that could light up any room.  His spirit and incredible passion for life will live on in the many, many lives that he has touched.  He will be sincerely missed by all.”

Wrede added that he hoped Shea knew how much he was loved, and how greatly he’ll be missed.

“It was unbelievable. He had so many fans…he had no enemies. People, friends, friends of friends who heard stories about him…he was a celebrity. That’s what it felt like at the funeral. He was a celebrity.”

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: We regret that this article was published in our April 15 print edition without a byline.

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In Memoriam: Christopher Shea