Sophomore remembered as classy

Like many college students, Brian Evans was unsure what he wanted to do with his life, but friends said it was his bold creativity, sense of style and passion for diversion that made him stand out from his peers.

During his freshman year, Evans plotted to fill his Kennedy Hall common room with plastic balls from a ball pit, or sand and palm trees – a pair of ideas that exemplified his active imagination.

“[He] was always doing something new,” said his cousin, Melissa Asip. “Always experimenting, he was not too conservative to try new things.”

Evans, a sophomore political science major, died early Sunday morning when he fell from the roof of his off-campus apartment on Northampton Street. He was 21 years old.

A former graphic design and art major, Evans recently switched his major to political science. His father, David, said Evans changed his mind on a career path multiple times at Northeastern, but finally decided on political science because it was a subject he could get excited about.

“He was really politically aware,” his friend, Liz Noftle, said in an e-mail to The News, adding that Evans was eager to vote in the primary election last week.

“He was just such a sweet person who wanted to make a difference,” she said.

His roommate and friend, Justin Marchetti, said Evans always had something fresh to say and could bring all their friends together.

“He was liberated and bold,” Marchetti said. “We could count on him … and he’d always be the first one to encourage everyone to dance. You could talk with him, party with him, do anything with him. He lived life to enjoy it.”

Born in Millbrae, Calif., Evans grew up outside San Francisco in San Mateo. He graduated from Junipero Serra High School, an all-boys school in San Mateo, in 2004, where he was a member of the cross-country team and an advocate for diversity and tolerance.

Evans was a member of the Northeastern Sailing Club. His love for sailing stemmed from Friday night races in California on his family’s sailboat that “he just loved beyond belief,” Asip said.

Despite being considered extremely intelligent by most who knew him and taking advanced placement classes in high school, Evans faced dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) throughout his education, his father said. He attended a middle school for dyslexic learners, the Charles Armstrong School, which provided him with assistance, such as dictating his writing into a computer, David Evans said.

After the first semester of his freshman year, Evans took a leave of absence to attend a four-month program at Landmark College in Vermont to further improve his skills and help him succeed at Northeastern.

Tamisha Carlson, a friend from Evans’ days at the Armstrong school, reflected on their friendship in an e-mail to The News.

“He was such a nice guy, down to earth and had the best personality,” Carlson said. “Brian lived a good life and I don’t think anyone would change any of it.”

Evans’ freshman year roommate, Ian Smith, recounted Evans’ creative side.

In an e-mail to The News, Smith said he remembered Halloween, 2004 when Evans, dressed up in his full sailing gear to impersonate George Clooney from “A Perfect Storm”- another sailing enthusiast.

“He was a great kid. So different from me, but so respectable in his own way,” Smith said.

According to friends and family, two other key traits that made Evans unique were his impeccable style and music savvy.

“He was the sharpest dresser I ever knew,” Marchetti said, using “stylish” and “classy” as the best words to describe Evans.

Asip said Evans cared a lot about fashion and she would often go to him for advice or to take her shopping.

In his youth, Evans was involved for six years in a professional, all-male choir, Ragazzi, where he traveled to various location, like the Vatican, to perform. He was also a disc jockey, who focused a lot of energy on his turntables after his time with the choir ended, his father said. He was the first DJ to play for his high school’s pep band.

“He introduced us to so much new music and new genres,” Marchetti said.

Asip said even though Evans attended school far away from his family, he maintained a close bond with them.

A recent family vacation to Belize made Evans feel a lot closer to his them, Marchetti said. Though he was still exploring different career choices, he intended to start a family of his own.

Evans was very protective of his 14-year-old brother Grant Asip said. Even though they would roughhouse, they had a strong “brotherly bond” and Grant idolized his older brother, Asip said.

He also had an extremely close bond with his mother, Elizabeth.

“They have been best friends for a very long time; they fit together perfectly,” Asip said. “He is literally a part of her.”

Evans leaves his parents, David and Elizabeth, and his brother, Grant. The family will hold a memorial service at St. Bartholomew’s Church in San Mateo at 11 a.m. this Saturday. A Northeastern memorial service is being arranged, although details were not available as of press time.

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