Darien High School student who died remembered as avid athlete and loyal friend

Students are dismissed at the end of the school day at Darien High School in Darien, Conn. Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.

Students are dismissed at the end of the school day at Darien High School in Darien, Conn. Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

DARIEN — A Darien High School student and lacrosse player who died last week is being remembered as a “fearless” outdoorsman and trusted friend.

Matthew McEvoy, 17, died March 31, according to an obituary from the Lawrence Funeral Home.

A member of the varsity lacrosse team, McEvoy was an “avid lover” of the outdoors and was a dedicated mountain biker, his obituary said.

He was also known as someone who was easy to be around, with a great sense of humor.

“He was fearless and the first to jump into a moment — whether he was biking down a trail, flipping into the pool, or skiing a crazy black diamond — he was confident, inspiring and could truly do anything,” his obituary reads. “But most of all, Matthew was a trusted and loyal friend, who was always there to listen and support whatever was needed.”

McEvoy spent several summers as a child playing tennis, sailing and swimming at the Tokoneke Club. Later, his activities included lifeguarding and going on day trips with his friends to mountain bike — one of his defining passions and one that played an integral role in shaping him, according to his obituary.

Described as a “driven, goal-oriented and strong” student, he took an early interest in Mandarin and later expressed a desire to combine his language skills with mountain biking.

McEvoy had been looking at colleges close to the mountains where he could major in Chinese studies or international business. His ideal job entailed working for a bike manufacturer while using his Mandarin knowledge in some capacity, according to his obituary.

McEvoy is survived by his parents, Darien residents Colin and Tracy McEvoy; a brother and a sister as well as three grandparents and numerous other family members.

The family will hold services Thursday at Noroton Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, they are asking for donations to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Donate Life America or the Concussion Legacy Foundation, made in McEvoy’s honor.

Darien school and town officials on Friday said the town was reeling from a profound loss and directed residents to counseling services through the schools and the town’s Human Services department.

In a message Friday, Superintendent Alan Addley wrote that the community had experienced a “heartbreaking week” and thanked staff for their “extraordinary response, support and compassion displayed for our students.

“Life moments of unimaginable loss require reflection as they remind us of the importance of life’s blessings of health, love, family and community,” Addley wrote. “The physical, social and emotional wellness of our children and each other must remain our collective priority.”

He also noted outreach from town and public officials.

“My heart is broken for the families,” First Selectman Monica McNally said during a Monday meeting of the Board of Selectmen. “On behalf of myself and the board, I express my sincerest condolences.”

The town is hosting a virtual conversation on grief and loss this Friday at 10 a.m. Certified grief counselors will be in attendance, according to event information.

raga.justin@hearst.com