BIDDEFORD – Evan McBreairty had a promising life ahead of him.
He graduated from Biddeford High School in 2010 and earned a four-year scholarship for the Army’s ROTC Program. He was currently a senior at Norwich University in Vermont and a member of its Corps of Cadets. He was pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
Recently, he was appointed executive officer of the Norwich Artillery Battery Unit, which fires Civil War-era cannons at sporting events and military ceremonies. He was expected to graduate in 2014.
Mr. McBreairty was scheduled to fly out of Portland early Sunday to report to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state for a month-long training. He took his own life Sunday. He was 21.
“I’m devastated,” his mother, Denise Gobeil, said Monday. “I don’t know if I missed something. I don’t know. I just can’t believe it.”
At Biddeford High, Mr. McBreairty was a standout on the school’s soccer, indoor track and lacrosse teams. In his junior year, he was named “most improved” on the lacrosse team. In his senior year, he was captain of the soccer team and won the MVP Award.
His father, Wayne McBreairty of Allagash, said he was a leader on and off the field. Though he had many athletic accomplishments, he never gave himself credit, his father said.
“He always played himself down,” his father said. “All of his friends knew he was good, especially in soccer.”
Mr. McBreairty was described by his family as a quiet, compassionate and generous kid, who worked hard and kept his word.
At age 13, he began working summers at Shady Brook Farms in Biddeford, where he washed vegetables and did weeding. Two years ago, he spent most of his summer at Eagle Lake in northern Aroostook County, where he helped build a house for his cousin. “He was very conscientious and worked hard for people,” his mother said.
Friends and family expressed shock and deep sadness after learning he took his own life. Many friends turned to Facebook to share their grief, photos and memories of him.
“Every moment with you was a memory I will keep forever,” his friend Nolan Guay wrote. “You weren’t just a friend to me, you were more than that, you were a brother to me. “
His friend Jordan Tran recalled having dinner with him last week.
“I still can’t grasp that you’ve left and went away,” Tran wrote.” You and I have always talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up and you always knew what you wanted. I’m (going to) remember all the laughs, jokes, pranks, the stupid things we did together. You have been such a big and great impact on me and I will hold onto the many memories we’ve shared. “
Mr. McBreairty and his mother went to lunch Saturday afternoon to celebrate her birthday. She said “he seemed fine.”
He left notes to his mother, father and brother. Gobeil said her note, written at 10:50 p.m. Saturday, offered no reasons for why he chose to end his life. The last sentence said: “I love you more than words can express.”
“I’m really at a loss,” his mother said. “I don’t know why.”
Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: