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Penn State Student Dies At Age 19

Grant McDermott, a second-semester mechanical engineering major at Penn State, died suddenly on Tuesday, December 28, according to an obituary published in the Bucks County Courier Times. He was 19.

In his spare time, McDermott served on UPUA’s First-Year Council and enjoyed volunteering with PALS, a non-profit organization that creates immersive experiences for young adults with Down syndrome. In an email, UPUA President Erin Boas said the student government will make a donation to PALS in McDermott’s memory.

“As a PALS volunteer at over 7 programs, Grant gifted PALS with his genuine kindness, passion for others, and joy for life,” the organization wrote online. “Grant, along with his siblings, was known at PALS for his welcoming personality and supportive nature. Grant’s presence at PALS furthered our mission of inspiring a world of belonging, and our community was better because he was a part of it.”

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, January 6, McDermott’s family will receive condolences at St. Bede the Venerable Church in Holland, Pa. A funeral mass at noon will follow. Masks are required for all in attendance, and the service’s interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, community members can make a donation to PALS in McDermott’s honor by following this link.

McDermott is survived by his parents, Gregory and Jennifer; his siblings, Amanda, Shane, and Seamus; his two grandmothers; and his “many aunts, uncles, and cousins.”

“Our University family is deeply saddened to learn about the death of Grant McDermott,” said a Penn State spokesperson. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends as we offer our heartfelt condolences on this unexpected and painful loss. “

Counseling through Penn State’s Counseling & Psychological Services is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (814) 863-0395. Penn State’s 24-hour crisis line can be reached by calling 1-(877) 229-6400.

Our condolences go out to McDermott’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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