It was a proud day for Trevor Loughlin, second from left, when he graduated from The Taft School in Watertown, CT. Joining in the celebration were his mom and dad, Suzy and Joe, and sister Juliette.
Trevor J. Loughlin:
A life that mattered
Story by Fred Stabbert III
July 16, 2013 It was a day Trevor John Loughlin would have loved. Hundreds upon hundreds of family and friends gathered together, sharing great stories, hugs, laughter and some seriously good conversation.
It was a day in which the Loughlin family and Trevor’s friends showed the world how much they truly cared for the young man some called “Marv” but most knew simply as Trevor.
“Trevor would be impressed,” Joe Loughlin, Trevor’s dad, began Sunday morning’s Memorial Service in honor of his 21-year-old son. “He always loved a get together and he has a seat right up front.”
With chairs filled to capacity in the spectacular Events Gallery at Bethel Woods, nearly 800 people gave Trevor something else he adored a standing room only crowd.
Dozens of people ringed the walls as the seats were filled and a large screen showed pictures of Trevor with his family and friends as each of the 12 speakers came to the front.
The Memorial Service also hit the world wide web, so family abroad and friends around the world could share in Trevor’s memorial.
A diehard sports fan, Trevor would have been impressed by the many stories about his athletic ability and his love for sports, especially his beloved Yankees, Knicks and Buffalo Bills.
“This is a celebration of a life… though it was short, it was spectacular,” uncle Harry Rhulen said.
Rhulen explained how his nephew, a rising senior at Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, died on July 4 while boating with his fraternity brothers on Grapevine Lake, just north of Dallas.
“Trevor died of fresh water drowning,” Rhulen said. “I don’t know how or why. All we know is that he had a great time right up to the last minute.
“It’s not fair… Life is sometimes not fair,” he said.
But what Rhulen learned while he spent several days in Dallas was that Trevor had become a young man admired by his peers, respected by those who had the pleasure to meet him and who carried himself with quiet dignity.
“I knew Trevor as a boy,” he said. “But I learned he was becoming a man.”
Rhulen also learned a lot about the goodness of people.
He told of how members of the Grapevine Police Dept. went out of their way to comfort the family, and, on the way home, how an entire motel staff reached out to send their condolences.
After learning of Trevor’s death, the entire staff signed a card and slipped it under Rhulen’s door.
“It was an overwhelming thing to me,” Harry said. “I thanked every one of them.
“Support one another,” he said. “Hug one another.”
Uncle Jim Loughlin shared several funny family episodes, most of which involved him getting Trevor into trouble by teaching him jokes.
“Trevor is the first Catskills comedian to ever credit his sources,” Loughlin smiled. “He had quite a life for a kid from Monticello.”
Another kid from Monticello, Jesse Levine, recalled his many days at Suzanne and Joe Loughlin’s house, hanging with Trevor.
“Trevor was all about love, laughter and loyalty,” Levine said.
And while their careers carried them down different paths he said, “The distance between us made our friendship even stronger.”
Levine said he learned a lot from Trevor, but utmost was “Don’t take anything for granted and be kind and loving to everyone near to me.”
He also told about two of Trevor’s loves, the movie “Rookie of the Year” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.”
“He loved that song, those lyrics,” Levine said.
“Oh, take your time... Don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
You’ll find a woman, yea yea, you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.”
Another friend, Austin Billig, remembered Trevor’s love of basketball, and maybe more importantly, the all-you-can-eat ice cream parlor at the Summer Basketball Camp they both attended in Syracuse.
“I never saw Trevor without a smile on his face,” Billig said. “Death ends a life, but not a relationship.”
Family friend Gina Belocchia Teehan knew Trevor as a young man ready to conquer the world.
“He had a clear understanding of what he did and didn’t like,” she said. “He shared his likes, as well as his dislikes.
“And one thing we did agree on was how much we liked Grandma Judy’s meatballs,” Teehan laughed.
She said that just last month the two fought over who was going to eat the last meatball.
“For what it’s worth, I let him win,” she said. “Trevor didn’t need anyone to let him win. His goals, he exceeded them. If something was wrong, he set it straight.
“I was privileged to have known him and loved him,” she said.
Erik Mayberg’s memories went all the way back to preschool, when the two young lads first learned how to overcome adversity.
And they shared many days on the baseball diamond together, where Trevor was “a baseball fanatic. He wanted to win… all the time.
“I’ll remember how motivated he was. He had the greatest laugh… he was a true friend,” Mayberg said.
Friend Alex Likovich told of the many trips she and the Loughlin family took together, when “Marv (Trevor) would hide the cereal boxes under his bed because he didn’t want you eating his special flavors.
“It still makes me laugh out loud,” she said. “Appreciate your life.”
Uncle Eric Rhulen, who now lives in Florida, remembered Trevor as someone “who always had a positive influence on my life.
“He always tried to pick me up,” he said. “Trevor and I could talk for hours. Trevor will forever live here in my heart and my soul.”
Trevor’s dad then came forward and told everyone to stand up.
“In honor of Trevor’s love of the Yankees, we are going to have the 7th inning stretch with Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.”
As people gently sang and hugged, it was an appropriate moment to remember a young man who so many will miss, but never forget.
Will Chester, who was Trevor’s roommate at Taft boarding school and classmate at SMU, said Trevor possessed virtues of strength of character and loyalty.
“His loyalty never wavered,” Chester said.
He told the funny story about how the two of them went to a Yankee game, getting to the stadium two hours early.
“We were the first ones in our section and as the drizzle turned into a downpour… the only ones in our section,” Chester said.
He said the two of them sat in the rain for several hours before the game was called.
“Trevor’s devotion and loyalty for his sports teams never wandered,” he said. “He had unbridled hope for things.”
Two of Trevor’s fraternity brothers, Nick Ricci and Tom McCormack, then came forward.
They spoke of Trevor’s love of sports, his ability to debate and how “we knew there was something special about him.
“He was fearless, passionate about things he liked,” McCormack said. “He was always willing to share in the successes… and defeats.”
Juliette Loughlin, Trevor’s big sister, said she had lost her partner in crime.
From boating to teasing, listening to Trevor run down the stairs, “Everything reminds me of you.”
One thing she will always treasure about her brother was his advice, “Be a woman of integrity.”
And from someone who knew him best, mom Suzy Loughlin, came the words about how much Trevor enjoyed life.
“He saw sunrises and sunsets,” she said. “He was so fortunate to visit so many places around the world.
“And he treasured that Patagonia fleece pullover, it was Papa John’s (Loughlin),” she laughed.
Suzy recalled his love of geography, higher education, and as a defender of those who couldn’t defend themselves.
“His actions were deliberate and intentional,” she said. “He did not have a long life, but an incredible life.
“He took nothing for granted and always stopped to admire beauty,” she said. “He had a strong moral compass. Trevor lived a life that mattered.
“Please, choose to live a life that matters,” she said.