Notre Dame Student "Had a Spark to Him"

Declan Sullivan killed last week when tower he was in fell over in high winds

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Monday, Nov 1, 2010  |  Updated 8:28 PM CDT
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Notre Dame Student "Had a Spark to Him"

AP

The casket is carried out after the funeral Mass for Declan Sullivan on Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, at St. Mary Church in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Sullivan, 20, a student at Notre Dame, died Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, in South Bend, Ind., after the tower from which he was filming football practice fell over during high winds.

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Family and friends gathered Monday to grieve the loss of a Notre Dame student killed in a tower fall last week.

A church bell tolled solemnly under a cloudless blue sky as the funeral of Declan Sullivan was being held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Buffalo Grove.  A private burial followed.

“Those who knew him knew he was really something,” Wyn Sullivan, Declan Sullivan’s sister, told the gathering, according to the Daily Herald.

Her sentiments were echoed after the services by Sullvan's uncle and the family spokesman, Michael Miley:

"He was a kid who... had a spark to him.  And while that spark may have been ignited and now extinguished, that light is going to continue on for many years to come.  And we hope over the next few days, weeks [and] months, that the people in the community are able to heal as we are starting to heal."

The service was standing room only, and members of the media were not allowed inside.  Several Notre Dame football players were in attendance, as was football coach Brian Kelly.

"It's a very sad day," said family friend Bill Ferreria.  "It's very unfortunate what happened.  He comes from an excellent family.  My wife knew his mom well.  And we'll miss him.  He was very committed to Notre Dame."

The 20-year-old junior from Long Grove recorded football practice on a scissor lift during Wednesday's wind advisory when it fell to the ground.  He died from his injuries.

Sullivan tweeted before the accident, "This is terrifying."

Indiana Occupational of Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

Sullivan's family has created The Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund in his honor.  The proceeds will be donated to charity. 

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