Gone too soon: AQ mourns lost Saint

Story by Thomas Doetsch, Saint Reporter
Photo Courtesy of Andris Visockis

Courtesy Becky Barclay

This past summer, the Aquinas community suffered a devastating loss, when sophomore Matthew Richardson unexpectedly passed away. News of this spread fast, as those who knew him and those who knew of him came together to grieve the loss of their dear friend.

Matt had a lot of friends on campus; he lived in St. Joseph the Worker Hall his first year, on the first floor, and made many long term connections in and outside the dorm.

“He wanted to be your friend. He was the guy you’d ask to do anything with because he was always up for something,” said sophomore Stephanie Mellstead.

Matt was that kind of guy–the kind that would brighten up the day in an instant; the kind of person that you could talk to about anything. Another one of his close friends, junior Summer Hutson, said that she does not know if he just radiated joy or it was simply his personality that was so comfortable. He had that talent where you could tell him anything and he’d understand.

As a member of the Aquinas Programming Board, Matt helped to coordinate and set up campus events so others could enjoy them. Conducting experiments and having new discoveries in Albertus was exciting for him as a biology and chemistry major. Everyone became happy when Matt walked in the room because they knew he always lit it up.

Aquinas chaplin, Father Stan Drongowski said, “The biggest lie of today’s society is of individuality and autonomy. We can’t go through life alone. Together we can get perspectives of life and on ourselves that wasn’t particularly aware.” People are meant to lean on one another and get through the rough patches in life together.

I knew Matt personally; his roommate was a good friend of mine so we hung out sometimes. As most of his other friends would tell you Matt was good friends with the front desk workers of both Regina and Joe’s. It always brightened my day when he walked into the lobby to talk to me, and it didn’t matter if it was for a minute or an hour.

AQ alumna Mishay Shook said:

“Matt had the ability to make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world. His endless smile was infectious. He lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed every bit of it.”

Another friend of Matt, a sophomore Danielle Smith said, “Matt would stay up with me and talk for hours about everything from the silliest things to the most serious things. He loved to watch movies. He loved going out late for walks around campus.”

Matt will never be forgotten, and will always be loved by his family and friends. Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor once said, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

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