Remembering Addison Coty: Community Reflects on the Loss of a Beloved Youth

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An accomplished runner, Addison was a four-time DAC All-Star. (Archived photo)

By Lura Jackson

 

In the early morning of Tuesday, July 31st, in one fateful moment, 18-year-old Addison Coty of Robbinston died in a car crash on River Road. The unexpected tragedy has resounded throughout the community, owing to the popularity of a young man that was a student-athlete at the top of his game – a young man with an irrepressibly big heart that held the friendships of many.

“If you had to pick a kid that was most liked, it was Addison,” expressed Jamie Thigpen, secretary at Calais Middle-High School. During his time at CMHS – from which he graduated in May – Addison made a profound impression on the student body as well as the faculty and staff. “He was a kid who anyone could say, ‘He’s my friend.’”

Addison was an enthusiastic and talented athlete that participated in several sports throughout the seasons. An all-around athlete, his primary passions were basketball and running track, both of which he excelled at. He served as captain for two years in basketball and participated in a state championship win; and in track, he was named as a Downeast Athletic Conference All-Star for all four years of his high school career. “He had a natural grace in his stride and made whatever he was doing look easy,” said CMHS Principal Mary Anne Spearin.

Beyond contributing to his own team, Addison’s presence at sporting events was often equally appreciated by the opposition. “In the past week, we have had several high schools reach out to us because Addison’s relationships went well beyond his hometown and Calais,” Spearin said. Cindy Rossi, coach of Machias’s Cross Country team, shared the following comments with Randy Morrison: “Addison was one of those kids I fell in love with. He was a class act, his smile and goofiness could light a room. He loved to raid our food and share with his whole team. We always planned for that.” Rossi said that Addison was a participant in the teams’ shared closed chat room, known as the Royal Devil Dogs, and stayed in touch throughout the year.

Aside from his athletic prowess and unfailing good sportsmanship, Addison was committed to his studies. He was named as Fifth Honor part when he graduated, and his academic record was sufficient to earn him entry into Eastern Maine Community College’s selective welding program, which he planned to attend in the fall. Describing Addison as a “phenomenal young man,” JMG advisor Toby Cole easily saw his potential. “He was kind, polite, smart, goofy, yet had a clear sense of direction in his life, and there was no doubt in my mind he was going to succeed.”

Within the community, Addison made a distinct impression on his peers and their parents. “Addison was loved by whomever he came in contact with,” said Rod Tirrell, whose daughter, Faith, shared a lifelong friendship with him. “His passing leaves a gaping hole in his family and this community. I am confident the support of our community will help pull the family through these dark times. He will most certainly be missed.”

For classmate Abby Condon, Addison was an admirable example. “Addison was always someone I thought highly of. He was always so kind and generous to his friends and his elders. I’ve never met someone I naturally felt so comfortable around. He’d always talk to you to make sure you were never left out and would always listen to whatever you had to say.” With his life and his death, Condon perceives that Addison continues to impart valuable lessons. “I hope people take this time to open up their eyes and not take life for granted. Life is beautiful, and Addison definitely proved that to those around him.”

More than his sports and academic prowess, Addison will be remembered by most for his attitude. “Addi was probably one of the kindest people I had the privilege to know,” said Faith Tirrell. She described him as constantly laughing and smiling, and added that she couldn’t recall ever seeing him upset. “I think that’s what makes this so hard on everyone. He loved life and everyone in it.”

 

While Addison is no longer with the community, the memories and reminders of his easy-going presence will always remain. “I remember one day, he asked to hangout, and I said I was going to Marden’s to look at shoes with the girls,” Faith recalled. “He said, ‘I don’t care, I’ll help ya pick em out.’ And that he did. I don’t think I’ll ever take off those shoes.”