A life cut short: Vigil at Memorial High School for Ian Jewell

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Students, family and friends gathered outside Memorial High School to remember classmate Ian Jewell. Photo/Katie Dugan

MANCHESTER, NH – Family, friends, and faculty gathered on Monday evening at Memorial High School for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Ian Jewell, a member of the class of 2018.


⇒UPDATE: Juvenile charged with murder in shooting death of Ian Jewell


Jewell, 18, was an honor roll student and member of the track team. He died unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon when he was shot in the chest outside the Ace Goffstown Hardware store. No arrests have been made, but a homicide investigation by the state Attorney General’s office is underway.

About 500 students, faculty, friends and community members congregated under cold, dark skies to reflect on the positive impact Jewell had on his community, as administrators shared their favorite memories of him.  Many held candles to mark the solemn occasion.

“There’s nothing I can do to make this situation better,” said one faculty member, “but there is a glimmer of light in this darkness and grief.”

Classmates remembered Jewell as a remarkably giving person, whose favorite color was blue. Jewell was also known for his proficiency at math and it was said he would help his classmates with their homework over the phone while he was on his break at work.

Memorial High School’s Chamber Choir sang a delicate rendition of The Beatles song, “Hey Jude,” Jewell’s favorite song.

Ian Jewell Photo/Facebook public profile

Beth Dooly, Jewell’s English teacher, said Jewell was “one of my favorites.”  Dooly said that Jewell wore a lot of tie-dye T-shirts, and that it “reflected his personality and his outlook on life.”

“Ian loved the universe,” she continued, “he talked about it in his papers. He believed we were all connected. He was very philosophical,” Dooly said.

Those who spoke at the vigil shared that among the biggest takeaways from Jewell’s too-brief legacy was that he lived his life to the fullest and encouraged others to do the same. He was once overheard saying, “as long as you are happy with your life, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”

At the end of the speeches, those who had gathered wrote messages on index cards, to be given to Jewell’s family.

Dooly wants everyone to remember all the good that their beloved classmate represented, saying, “do Ian a favor, go outside and look at the stars.”

A GoFundMe has been established to assist the family with burial expenses. Click here for more information.