He will be remembered by his friends, family, the Plattsburgh State community and anyone who was lucky enough to have met him as the good-natured, soon-to-be teacher who made everyone around him feel more than comfortable.
Dylan Irish, a 21-year-old senior at Plattsburgh State, was found dead in his off-campus apartment in the city of Plattsburgh Sunday, May 1.
A native of Clifton Park, Irish was easily identifiable to many in the PSUC community as the guy who was often cruising around on his bike with an overly contagious smile. According to a number of his friends, when someone was given the opportunity to talk to him, they would often be greeted with his signature phrase, “suh dude.”
Irish was a shining star in PSUC’s education program. His potential as an educator and natural ability to connect with children was admired by both his professors and fellow students.
PSUC Associate Professor of English Elaine Ostry taught Irish in Children’s Literature and also worked with him individually for an independent study. She praised the energy and enthusiasm that he was able to bring to any classroom.
“Every time we met, I kept thinking what a great teacher he will become,” Ostry said. “I was just so happy that someone like Dylan was going to become a teacher.”
A small collection of education majors and professors came together Tuesday afternoon in the Literacy Education Center to share memories of Irish, write letters for therapeutic purposes or to Irish’s family, or to simply be there for one another.
It was here that PSUC Professor of English Tracie Guzzio, another professor of Irish’s, told a story about him that showed how compassionate and thoughtful he was.
“Dylan worked at a restaurant me and my daughter went to, and when they moved locations they weren’t making the same thing,” Guzzio said. “He started tracking me down around Sibley to let me know when he was working so he could make that (meal) she liked for her himself.”
Irish was just as applauded a friend as he was a student.
Tuesday night, at 7:45 p.m., next to Hawkins Pond, hundreds of fellow students, friends, family and faculty members came together for a candlelight vigil put together by some of Irish’s close friends. Attendees took turns behind the microphone sharing stories and expressing how special Irish was.
Dylan’s father, Richard Irish, spoke to everyone who came out to honor his son. He said that, though his son’s life was certainly cut short, the time that was spent was beyond valuable and not matched by many.
“In 21 years, that boy lived life,” he said.
He also spoke of how important PSUC was to his son, and how Dylan was able to overcome his own doubts about college to flourish in his time here.
“Dylan chose Plattsburgh over UVM because he was scared he wouldn’t make it and didn’t want to waste our money,” he said. “But then he came here and kept a 3.5 GPA, got so involved and really just did amazing things.”
Dan Bender, a longtime friend of Irish’s, commended his ability to be there whenever a friend needed him, and said he literally could not imagine a better person than Irish.
“Dylan was the best friend that anyone could ever ask for,” Bender said. “Anytime someone was in need, or if someone needed a smile he was the one to go to for that for so many people. He meant the world to so many people, and I know that he had more love in his heart than anyone else.”
Email Bailey Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org