Community mourns loss of Adam MacLellan


Photo provided by Joe Jira

Adam MacLellan pictured was a former student of Hereford High. MacLellan was going to graduate in the 15-16 school year.

Emma Coleman, Editor-in-Chief

On May 25, students received word through a letter from Principal Joe Jira that classmate Adam MacLellan (’16) had died suddenly. He is survived by his parents Marianne and Andy, his sister Keirsten,his brothers Conor, Dillon, and Stringbean, and grandparents.

MacLellan’s viewing took place May 28 and 29 from 3-5:00 and 7-9:00 p.m. at the Eckhardt Funeral Chapel at 11605 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills. His funeral was on May 30 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 65 Sacred Heart Lane, Glyndon.

Jira, who attended the funeral, reported that there was standing room only in the chapel. Large numbers of firefighters and policemen from Hereford, Glyndon, and Reisterstown paid their respects to MacLellan, who often participated in the Volunteer Fire Department.

MacLellan was also known for his involvement in Hereford’s Agriscience programs, as well as his talent for mechanics. In a letter sent to parents following MacLellan’s death, Jira said, “He worked at Brooks-Huff and planned to use his automotive skills to pursue a career in the automotive industry.”

“He was really into trucks,” Engineering teacher Weston Fellows said. “I remember having to refocus him a lot when he was supposed to be using a CAD program, because he was looking at the new Ford Bronco. He sucked me into talking about the truck, and before I knew it, I had forgotten about redirecting him.”

That’s not to say that MacLellan wasn’t focused. He had earned enough high school credits to graduate one year early, with the class of 2016.

“He was a very hard worker and very proud of his accomplishments,” School to Career Transition teacher Cheryl Burkett said.

Social Studies Department Chair Jamie Higgins-Shaull recalled a recent conversation with MacLellan. Upon seeing Higgins-Shaull in the hallway, he said, “Are you coming to graduation? You know I got through my APEX course right?”

“I would have loved to see him walk across the stage – knowing how hard he worked to graduate early,” Higgins-Shaull said.

Perhaps more memorable than all of this is MacLellan’s smile and laugh. Physical Education Department Chair Eric Evans said, “When I heard about what happened, it devastated me. The only thing that popped into my head was his smile and his laugh.”

“When Adam walked into class or you saw him in the hall, he always said hello with a big goofy smile,” Math teacher Julia Wilson said. “He had a way of brightening up your day and many times you couldn’t help but laugh or smile in return.”

He had a way of teasing people that made everyone laugh. Guidance Secretary Jackie Bowersox can tell countless stories about MacLellan coming into the guidance office and propping his feet up on her desk, throwing pencils around, and rearranging her things – all for fun.

MacLellan always had something to say, too. “He didn’t hold anything in,” Bowersox said. “Whatever he felt he said. Adam was Adam.”

He has been described as personable, easy-going, loyal, happy go lucky, goofy, good with kids, and loving.

Burkett wrote the following poem about MacLellan, read at his funeral by Jira. “I will miss him like a son,” Burkett said.


Ode to Adam

By Cheryl Burkett


His broad, sweet grin and lanky walk

His warm brown smiling eyes

The first to greet you in the hall

Jeans and T-shirt were his guise.


Always quick with a story

And who he knew in town

Sometimes serious and all business

And sometimes quite the clown.


To his friends he was quite loyal

And of family, oh so proud.

He loved his truck; he loved the girls.

His mind often in the clouds.


He never met a stranger,

Would help you in a pinch.

To say that we all loved him

It’s easy; such a cinch.


Let’s gather to remember

The gifts that Adam shared

To celebrate his short, kind life

And show how much we care!