MSU Community Holds Candlelight Vigil for Michael Wolcott

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

Michael Wolcott had a very simple description for himself.

"I'm a really nice guy, I have very long eyelashes and I can make you laugh," remembered Michael's father, Roger Wolcott. "I believe everyone is inherently good and I look for the good in everyone."

Family, friends, fraternity brothers and the MSU community gathered in front of the Rock to remember the life of 22-year-old MSU junior Michael Wolcott.

"The thing I remember him most for was he had a great smile and a pretty unique and awesome laugh, " said recent alum and one of Michael's Theta Chi fraternity brothers John Gillis.

"He had a really big heart and he really valued his friends," said Zach Ketner, another brother in Theta Chi. "He was a very approachable person. You could always walk up to him and he'd always be willing to talk."

Roger Wolcott says his son has had asthma since he was 18 months and has struggled with it his entire life.

"I talked to him on Friday and he had the flu and didn't feel well and he was taking breathing treatments," said Roger Wolcott. "With what information I know I can't believe he stopped breathing. I believe his heart stopped."

Roger Wolcott also said he was told his son was sleeping and snoring as late as 9 AM. East Lansing Police were called to Theta Chi fraternity house at 9:45 AM and found Michael unconscious and not breathing.

Police say they haven't determined whether alcohol was a factor and are waiting on an autopsy scheduled for Monday.

Michael was a junior at MSU and dreamed of being a hotel manager one day. Friends say it's a job and industry that was well-suited to Michael.

"He really liked hosting people," said Ketner. "His room was one you could always go to."

"He was passionate about cooking and making people feel comforable," said fraternity brother Daniel DeRoo. "Whenever someone was in his presence he'd always give them the extra mile to make them feel comfortable and at home."

"I saw him grow from being a boy into a man," said Ken Marlin from the Theta Chi Alumni Corporation. "He was ready to go out on his own and it's sucha shame to see a promising young life cut short."

Roger Wolcott had one story he thought really told the tale of Michael's personality. It's a story from when Michael wanted to quit third grade.

"I said, 'Michael if you quit school in third grade, what is it you're going to do with your life?'" said Roger Wolcott. "He thought for a moment and said 'Well, I can always teach 2nd grade."

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