In the midst of gray skies, family and friends of Alan Comerford ’02 met in Anabel Taylor on Friday to remember the life of a student described as brilliant, kind, and driven.
They gathered to grieve for the loss of Alan, whose body was discovered in Cascadilla Creek gorge on the morning of Nov. 20.
The memorial began with the reading of Comerford’s Cornell application, in which he sought to explain his personal philosophy. Using the metaphor of a sandwich, Comerford wrote: “Family is the bread of humanity — the foundation of a person’s life … Friendship is the spread for life … The meat is a person’s inner thoughts.”
“Alan was a true friend. He challenged by intellect and inspired me to study philosophy. I hope that some of the insight I gained from Alan could be transferred to others,” said Brian Ephraim ’02.
Comerford was also remembered as a loving brother, brilliant student, and a humorous person.
“Alan was the computer guru who people always asked for help — the perfectionist who fixed what was wrong and made it better,” said Comerford’s sister, Rachel Comerford.
Rachel Comerford remembered a big brother who “bought me the most beautiful beads when I began to make necklaces,” and who “taught me how to wear my pants over my new boots so that I wouldn’t look like a dork.”
One of Comerford’s professors said, “What I will always remember is his incredible sense of humor.”
Comerford, a molecular biology and genetics student at Cornell, was also a trained emergency medical technician, fireman, and paramedic. He was interested in pursuing a career in pediatric emergency care.
“Alan was a man on his way to living the life he wanted. He was considering suspending medical school to become an emergency physician for the Armed Services. He wanted to be where the action was,” said Liam Comerford, Alan’s father.
“Alan could hold a man’s guts together with his hands, but what made him the saddest were the stories of the children suffering,” the elder Comerford said of his son.
“The reason why people who remember Alan — that guy from high school — is because he put his heart into everything,” said Rachel Comerford.
Rabbi Edward Rosenthal concluded the memorial with the Kaddish, a prayer for mourners and for the dead.
Archived article by Jamie Yonks