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Students Remember CAS Sophomore

Wake will be Tuesday; Funeral Wednesday


Photo below by Amy Laskowski

Dozens of students convened on the Howard Thurman Center Thursday night to hug, share stories, and mourn the loss of 19-year-old College of Arts & Sciences sophomore Michael DeVito — fraternity brother, friend, and aspiring mathematician.

BU staff were at the center to welcome students and offer what help they could. Daryl DeLuca, assistant dean of students, passed along a message from DeVito’s parents.

“They are extremely, extremely saddened by their tragic loss,” he said. “But they were taken aback by the amount of support they have received from you.”

A spontaneous memorial appeared on Marsh Plaza, where friends and fellow fraternity brothers had placed a box of Mike & Ike’s, DeVito’s fraternity pin, and a framed photo of him with the caption: “Brother, your memory will live on with us forever.”

At the center, students gathered around folding tables and sunk into armchairs, dabbing away tears amid looks of disbelief and shock. Counselors and chaplains circulated to speak with students one-on-one and in groups.

Kyle Langan remembered DeVito, whom he’d known for just seven months, as “a guy in every sense of the word,” but also as “a lightning bolt and a wake-up call to everyone.”

“He was always one of the driving forces in the fraternity,” said Langan (CAS’10). “He ground us in our morals.”

Other friends remember DeVito as a huge sports fan, whose favorites were the Rams and Yankees. He loved music, especially the Beatles, and knew how to cut a rug.

“He loved to dance,” said Elise Yannett (CAS’12).

DeVito also loved Italian food, especially whatever came from his mother’s kitchen. His favorite, said roommate Zach Taylor (COM’12), was her chicken cutlets. Taylor remembers him coming back to their apartment and stacking the fridge with her cooking.

DeVito was generous too, friends said. They told of the time he spotted a $70 pizza bill, no questions asked.

Yannett always sought out DeVito when she was having a bad day: “I just knew he would make me happy,” she said.

Langan said DeVito had mentioned that he had a heart problem, but his sudden death came as a shock to everyone. “He was fine,” Taylor added, “which is what makes it so difficult. It just happened.”

DeVito, of Rye, N.Y., was found early Thursday morning. A Boston Police spokesperson says police responded to an “unconscious person” call at 50 Gardner St. at 8:30 a.m. When police arrived at the house, which is occupied by members of the Sigma Chi fraternity, emergency medical technicians were applying CPR. DeVito was transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Boston University Police Chief Thomas Robbins says there is no evidence of foul play. As in the case of all unattended deaths, the death is being investigated by the Boston Police.

Counseling for students is available at the department of behavioral medicine at Student Health Services, 881 Commonwealth Ave., 617-353-3569.A

Michael DeVito’s wake will be held Tuesday, February 9 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coxe and Graziano Funeral Home, 767 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, N.Y. (914) 698-5968.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m., February 10, at St. Gregory the Great Rectory/Church, 215 Halstead Ave., Harrison, New York.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the American Heart Association.

The Dean of Students’ office is sponsoring buses to travel to DeVito’s funeral in Westchester County, New York on Wednesday. For more information visit the Web site.

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu.


39 Comments on Students Remember CAS Sophomore

  • Sheron Lewis-Hendrickson on 02.05.2010 at 7:40 am

    Mike DeVito

    I am deeply sadden by the the passing of my son’s best friend from Rye High School. My prayers are with the family, friends and Rye Community.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 8:39 am

    This is so sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael’s family. I didn’t know him, but as a student here, this deeply saddens me. I’m glad that at such a big school like BU there can still be a tremendous amount of support.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 10:11 am

    Hey bud, Miss you and love

    Hey bud,

    Miss you and love you. Rest in Peace.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:33 am

    Mike was my roommate and a close friend. His loss has been an enormous blow to his friends and especially his family. I know that we and his family truly appreciate the outpouring of support from the BU community. For those of you who never had a chance to meet Michael, you should know that he was a generous and caring friend who would not hesitate to go out of his way to help anyone in need. Truly selfless Michael never asked for anything in return. He will be deeply missed. Please keep Michael and his family in your prayers. RIP best friends means friends forever

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:33 am

    Death is a Scar no 1 can Heal, Love is a Memory no 1 can Steal!

    Although I do not know Mike or his family it is obvious that is my loss. The loss of a child is the worst feeling life has to offer. Mike’s parents will need all the support we can offer. I know all to well of the pain they will burden for a very long time and if there is anything I can do I am very easy to find in Rye. God Speed, love n prayers to all. Jim Amico.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:34 am

    Mike was one the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He always had a smile on his face and could make anyone who was having a bad day feel better. You will truly be missed but never forgotten. R.I.P.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:34 am

    one of a kind

    what a loss. he was talented, charismatic, warm hearted, and just one of a kind….. haven’t met many people like Mike in my life… the world was a little better with him in it! it’s a sad day for everyone he touched. thoughts and prayers to his family.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:34 am

    Mike was one of the most genuine, nice guys I have ever met. he cared so much for everyone and was sweet to everyone, even those he only met briefly. rest in peace mike. we all miss you.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:35 am

    Wonderful kid

    I had the pleasure of being his RA and his neighbor last year. An absolutely funny and charming presence; I will never forget him. May you rest in peace.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:35 am

    Mike was one of my coolest and funniest students.I could not believe the news when i heard it, him being so young and so full of life.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:36 am

    I never knew Michael, but I work at St. Elizabeths and was very touched by the group of friends who came to console his brother and eachother. It was a very tragic thing that happened today and my condolences go out to each and every one of you who knew him. This brought back vivid memories of a very close friend I lost years ago in highschool and I hope you can all heal with the help of one another. Rest in piece Michael. And God bless you all.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:36 am

    Mike, I never saw you without a smile. You were the warmest person I’ve ever come across and you managed to touch so many people. The last time I saw you, you shouted “I love you!” I love you too, Mike.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:37 am

    The absolute nicest kid you will ever meet. You can’t find anyone more genuine then Michael. It’s a shame that things like this have to happen to the people who deserve it least. May he rest in peace and may his family find the strength to deal with this terrible tragedy. We miss you Mike.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:37 am


    My son Arthur was Mike’s roomate in 3 Buswell St. I only met Mike briefly but was impressed with what a nice young man he seemed to be. I’d appreciate very much any support that the BU community can lend to Mike’s family and friends in this time of grief. Thank you so much.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:38 am

    I miss you Mike. You were so wonderful- just a kind person, full of life. You are loved and missed deeply.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:38 am

    Amazing Kid right here.

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:38 am

    Mike had a warm heart and was nothing but nice. I enjoyed every moment i spent with him. God bless

  • amlaskow on 02.05.2010 at 10:41 am

    we can not understand why God took you away so early. We love you and miss you. We will be in Rye for you all of us. All of the class of 2008. Rest in peace we will never forget you.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 10:46 am

    This is very sad.

    This is a very appreciated gesture by his friends. As one who neither knew DeVito nor the circumstances of his death, I would have liked to have the details right after the opening, in order to understand why all those people were mourning.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 11:42 am

    Mike DeVito

    Thank you for your friendship, wonderful personality, and bright smile. We will miss you. The Savarese Family, Rye, N.Y.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 12:49 pm


    May your journey be blessed. We are good here, go in peace. :-)

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 12:59 pm


    Devito I loved you. You and I had such a close relationship. We should’ve had more time.

  • Dossie Halliday on 02.05.2010 at 1:10 pm

    He was a fantastic kid.

    Mike was my son’s best friend too. I think he was everyone’s best friend. He was a very special person.

    I am grateful that we had him in our lives these last few years. I am deeply saddened that he’s gone. My heart goes out to his family and to his many friends.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 1:38 pm

    Love you boy!

    It was truly an honor for Mike to have touched my life. He was a beautiful person with the soul of an angel. I like to think that there is a reason for things that happen to people, but there was absolutely no reason for this kid to go so soon. He was great and could always put a smile on my face no matter if he was just saying how you doinnn or dancing. The world has lost someone very special, but we can only hope that he will be looking out for all of us.

  • Cindy Barbati-Reppucci on 02.05.2010 at 1:47 pm

    Mike DeVito

    Mike was my son’s roomate freshman year. I was struck by his gentlemanly and genteel manor upon our first meeting..a great handshake is the sign of a great man for sure…I have wonderful memories of him and his great smile and my son was lucky to have been able to get to really know Mike. My thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family at this very difficult time, as well with his extended B.U. family. Mike, you may have left us but your star shines brightly in the sky.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 2:46 pm


    It’s true when they say the good die young. I never knew you, but I know you will be missed. Rest in peace, Mike DeVito.

  • John Bellizzi on 02.05.2010 at 3:37 pm

    Michael DeVito

    My son was friends with Michael’s brother, Danny, and so we got a chance to see Michael often. This simply is not right, it isn’t fair, it goes against everything that is good and yet it happened. All I can think is that Michael was so special that God wanted him by his side early. That this world as we know was not good enough for Michael. I know this may sound silly but I can’t understand it otherwise. I hope that God gives Michael’s family the strength to endure and then the strength to live despite the deep pain in their hearts. And for Michael himself, the joy of being by God’s side for eternity.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 4:26 pm

    The DeVito Family

    My heart goes out to the DeVito family. Having worked with Mr. DeVito for a number of years, I’ve heard a number of stories about all of the kids, always told with a grin of pride. I send my thoughts and deepest condolences.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 4:38 pm


    i am so sorry this happened to you. i only met you recently, and we weren’t really close, but i consider you a friend, and i am so sad that this happened to you. r.i.p. buddy.

  • JBE on 02.05.2010 at 6:14 pm

    A Shinning Star...DeVito

    When I stepped off the BU bus this morning–rushing to class–I saw the picture, pin, and flowers sitting on a single chair. I glanced down at the box of “Mike and Ike’s,” and, immediately, I knew he was a loved person. That was a very touching gesture. Last year I departed the military to pursue my education here at BU, and with the two wars us [soldiers] were fighting you start–much younger than most–to realize how precious it all is. Just as nothing can train you for the loss of your comrades in war, nothing can train the DeVito family for their loss. His time may have been short, but he lived and made you proud–not everyone can say that. It is a wonderful reflection upon the DeVito family that their son was so loved. His great path may have been shortened, but it was no less valuable. Your son was a soldier to his family, his academics, and his life. I never knew him, but I didn’t need to, in order to witness the greatness you instilled; he was, obviously, a perfect representative of that character. May God keep him close to you, always.

  • Anonymous on 02.05.2010 at 8:07 pm

    I had the pleasure to be Michael’s R.A this year.. although our interactions were short, he was always welcoming and friendly and I could tell he was a special kid. The amount of support that is coming from the community makes it very clear he has had a huge impact in the people in his life. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael,and his family and friends.

  • Mike DeVito on 02.05.2010 at 8:49 pm

    Mike was not only a good friend to me, but I treated him like a brother. He was unlike anyone i’ve ever met.. never did he put on an act for people but instead was just himself. Mike words cannot describe how much everyone loved you, and I will miss you so much. You were one of the nicest people i’ve ever met, and I can’t wait to see you again soon. RIP Mike, i love you always and forever. Miss you buddy.

  • Anonymous on 02.06.2010 at 6:33 am

    I consider Danny Devito one of my best friends and I have known his little brother for about two years. Michael Devito was a pure hearted amazing person who I always have loved watching laugh and have fun with his older brother and his friends. Michael always had a smile on and was always generous and as kind as every member of the Devito family. Michael was someone who everyone looked up to regardless of whether or not you were younger or older than him. He was one of te sweetest people to have ever touched my life even though I never had a chance to spend enough time getting to know him. RIP Michael you were an amazing brother, friend and human being you were always so kind and happy. My heart goes out to the Devitos. The whole world has lost someone who was truely amazing.

  • Anonymous on 02.06.2010 at 8:16 am

    miles away

    Michael was in my son’s class last semester.As a mother of an international student, I pray for him even if I am oceans away.I am deeply hurt altough I had never met him.My prayers are with him and his family.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2010 at 5:12 pm

    Mike was a wonderful student, leader, son and brother. We were all shocked to hear this awful news. We are blessed to have known you, Mike. May you watch over us from Heaven, much like you did on Earth.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2010 at 6:12 pm

    Knowing Mike’s Dad, I know he must have been a tremendous guy. This is such a tragedy and my most sincere condolences go to my partner, Danny Devito, and his family. You are in my prayers.

  • Anonymous on 02.08.2010 at 5:22 am

    Our Deepest Condolences

    My wife and I remember when Mike and his family came to Tokyo and we all had dinner together. I remember him well — a very personable, engaging and solid young man. I also remember the interaction among the family and the closeness they all shared. Our hearts are breaking at their tragic loss. Our deepest sympathies to Dan, Gina, Daniel and Alexa. Nobu and Marcia Ishizuka

  • Anonymous on 03.03.2010 at 3:56 pm

    Thought and Prayers

    DeVito Family- Knowing Michael’s father in business I know what a close. loving family this is. Word cannot express how saddened I am for you. May the joy of the time you shared with Michael bring you the strength in your hearts. I truly wish there was more we could do to heal your pain.

  • M on 11.08.2011 at 10:21 am

    Will say a prayer for this young man. A tragic loss that reminds us how fragile life is. God Bless and RIP.

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