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Michael David Gavin, 20, of West Chester, PA died Saturday October 14, 2023 at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Born February 10, 2003 in Bryn Mawr, PA he was the son of Michael J. Gavin and Wendy Holden Gavin.
Michael grew up in West Chester and attended St. Aloysius School where he made lifelong friends. Michael transferred to St. Agnes School where he found treasured friends and fell in love with football, thriving under the guidance of his CYO coaches. Michael then attended the Haverford School, where he wrestled and played football, earning Second Team honors in the Inter-AC for his play as an offensive lineman in 2019. Michael transferred to The Hun School of Princeton in the hopes of playing Division I football. In 2020 he earned recognition as First Team, All Area New Jersey, Defensive Tackle and an invitation to the 2021 Under Armour All-America Football Camp Series in Baltimore. With the encouragement of the Hun coaching staff Michael spent the offseason remaking his body in preparation for his senior year, playing both offensive and defensive line for a team that went undefeated, earning the following recognition as a defensive tackle: First Team All MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League); First Team Northeast Prep Conference; First Team NJISAA Prep "A"; The Trentonian TD Club Players of the Week; and MaxPreps Defensive Player of the Game.
In addition to excelling at football, Michael was an accomplished pianist, Altar Boy at Saint Agnes and an active member of Boy Scout Troop 153. Michael earned his Eagle Scout at age 12, 9 Eagle Palms and 67 merit badges. He was an Ordeal Member of the Order of the Arrow and held various leadership positions. Michael particularly enjoyed camping and the High Adventure Scout bases including High Adventure at the SBR – The Summit Bechtel Reserve - The Summit Experience, Northern Tier High Adventure Base and the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base.
Michael enjoyed all things outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing, and time at the beach where he also enjoyed surfing and jet skiing. Michael was a Certified Scuba Diver and had a boating license for small craft.
Most of all Michael enjoyed working with his hands. He enjoyed the time he spent working on his 1995 F350 with his garage family and driving it with his friends. He also enjoyed woodworking and created many beautiful pieces for friends and family.
Michael was thrilled to be accepted to the University of Pennsylvania and intended to join his fellow Quakers in community and on Franklin Field as a dedicated member of Penn’s football team, but in June of 2022, he learned that he had glioblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer for which there is no cure. Michael accepted the devastating news and decided that he wanted to fight the disease as a Penn student-athlete. His family, friends, medical teams, caregivers and the Penn Community embraced his decision and rallied from the moment of diagnosis to stand with him and support him. They ensured that he received the best medical treatment, both at home and abroad, and enabled his active participation at Penn academically and athletically. Michael’s fight defied the odds and inspired those who supported him to be their best selves. Throughout his battle those that came into contact with Michael demonstrated that kindness is everywhere, meeting him where he was throughout his battle and fueling his will to live.
In the 22-23 academic year, while battling cancer, Michael earned a 3.95 grade point average and was honored by the Penn Football Team with the Coach Lake Award, which is awarded to the player who demonstrates leadership, team spirit, and unwavering Penn Pride.
His coach, Ray Priore, shared this sentiment about Michael’s comradery and spirit; “Today the world lost a truly special soul. For the last two years, Michael has fought the fiercest battle anyone could: stage 4 brain cancer. He will forever be one of the toughest and bravest men I have ever met. His legacy will live on in all our hearts and he will forever be a part of the Penn Football Family. On behalf of the staff and team, I offer my deepest condolences to the Gavin Family and to all of those who had the honor to know and love Michael.”
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his sister, Annabel Gavin, brother, Gabriel Gavin, Claire and George DiNardo, grandparents, Honorable Thomas and Denise Gavin, David and Betty Holden and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Relatives and friends are invited to his visitation on Monday, October 23, 2023 from 9:00 am - 10:45 am at the St. Agnes Church 233 W. Gay St. West Chester, PA 19380, followed by his Funeral Mass at 11 am. Live streaming will be available Here.
Interment will be private at St. Agnes Cemetery.
Parking is available at St. Agnes Church and/or the Chestnut Street Parking Garage 14 East Chestnut Street West Chester and/or the High Street Parking Garage 20 S. High Street West Chester.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to advance research in neuro-oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Checks may be made out to CHOP Foundation with “In Memory of Michael Gavin” in the memo and mailed to CHOP Foundation, PO Box 781352, Philadelphia, PA 19178.
Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. of West Chester, PA 610-696-1181; www.DellaFH.com
CHOP Foundation “In Memory of Michael Gavin”
PO Box 781352, Philadelphia PA 19178