Second Lt. Finnian “Finn” McCarthy, a 2013 graduate of University of Richmond, died Sept. 22 after being hit by a train. He was 22 years old.
The university’s flag flew at half-staff Sept. 27-29 in McCarthy’s honor. McCarthy graduated with a bachelor’s in international studies and a concentration in modern Europe. He was active in Army ROTC, Kappa Sigma fraternity and the men’s club ice hockey team.
McCarthy died in Fort Rucker, Ala., where he had been stationed with the U.S. Army and was a student in the Aviation Basic Officer Leader Course. A memorial service was held Sept. 28 in Dansville, Mich., at McCarthy’s family’s farm.
Families of Richmond ice hockey players, as well as alumni who had played on the team, raised $7,000 to pay for a charter bus from Richmond to Dansville so that they could attend the service. The 25 people on the bus were current students and alumni, said Kevin Silver, the men’s club ice hockey coach.
The service included a full military memorial service as well as an Irish wake, honoring McCarthy’s ancestral heritage. “[The wake] was more of a celebration of his life than a funeral,” Silver said.
Silver said he had been impressed by McCarthy’s dedication to all of his campus activities. “I can’t remember him ever missing anything,” Silver said. “We’d have practice until 1 a.m. and he’d have to be up at 5 for PT. It was amazing how he managed to juggle everything that he did. On the ice, he was one of our top defensemen. Off the ice, he was just a super kid.”
Silver said that sometime during this year’s hockey season, the team would dedicate a game to McCarthy’s remembrance. He said he would invite McCarthy’s family, including his younger brother, who plays hockey, onto the ice during that game.
The university community will have an opportunity to pay its respects at a memorial service hosted by the Office of the Chaplaincy. The chaplaincy is considering the Brown-Alley Room in Weinstein Hall as a location, but the date is uncertain, university chaplain Craig Kocher said. Kocher wanted to make sure the service had been thoroughly planned to accurately represent the “voices of Finn’s life,” he said.
McCarthy’s girlfriend, Avery Harrison, is currently a junior at Richmond. “He was extremely kind, modest and strong in his convictions,” she said.
Updates on a memorial service will be made as they become known.
Contact staff writer Catherine Sinclair at email@example.com