Charlie Read mourned, celebrated

On August 15, the Amherst community suffered the loss of a beloved friend and teammate, then-sophomore Charles Davis Read, who tragically passed away in his sleep.

Read was first honored on Friday, August 19, when the community gathered on the Mill River field for a candlelight vigil. On Saturday, October 22, a celebration of his life was held at First Church in Amherst; over 400 people attended.

Read made connections with people from all walks of life, including neighbors, classmates, and those on his baseball and hockey teams. “He could always lift the team’s spirits after a bad loss,”  Alex Walsh said, who played baseball with Read.

Luke Sedor Protti, one of Read’s best friends, said Charlie “touched so many people with his kindness, humor and happiness.”

“He helped me become who I am today and gave me 10 years of amazing memories and experiences that can never be taken away,” Sedor Protti said. “I remember playing countless rounds of the Old Orchard Disc Golf course, and in the winter building forts and having the most epic snowball fights. Every time I go on a mountain bike ride I am reminded of the many rides we went on together.”

Twins Anna and Piper Lacy were both affected deeply by Read’s death. “There are really no words that can describe how much I love Charlie. He has been like a brother and a part of my family since we were born,” Anna said. “I don’t know what my childhood would have been like or how I would be today if it wasn’t for Charlie.”

Piper remembers dragging Charlie over to the barn down the road from their houses to help  her take care of the horses. “I would put him to work mucking out the stalls, and even though he didn’t enjoy the task he would do it because he wanted to help me out,” she said. She added, “I miss Charlie every day. I miss sitting with him at lunch and hearing his long, complicated stories. I miss feeling a tap on my shoulder in the hallways at school and turning to see Charlie’s huge smile as he waved hello.”

Read recently took part in a service trip to rebuild homes in Appalachia organized by First Church in Amherst.  Education Director and former ARHS teacher John Aierstuck knew Charlie from birth and went on that trip with him. “I think Charlie took such joy in service to others because he knew how others–his parents, his sister, his extended family, his teachers and coaches, his teammates and friends–helped him to a good life,” he said. “From our perspective, [it was] way too short a life; but from his, a good and happy life.”

Read is survived by his parents Clifton and Arleen, his sister Susan, an ARHS grad, and many other close relatives. The family set up a Memorial Scholarship Fund in his honor through Morse Hill’s Outdoor Education Center.