Patterson Mill mourns player’s sudden death
Pfarr, 17-year-old junior, died at home; cause being investigated, officials say
The greater Bel Air community has been stunned by the death of Isaac Thomas Pfarr, a 17-year-old junior football player for the Patterson Mill Huskies, who died suddenly over the weekend at his home.
“It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Isaac Pfarr, one of our 11th-grade students,” Patterson Mill Principal Sean Abel said in a message sent to parents Monday. “Isaac passed away [Sunday] as a result of a seizure.”
Many Patterson Mill students and others from the community gathered at the school Sunday night for a vigil to remember their classmate.
Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, said Tuesday that the cause of Pfarr’s death is under investigation.
Abel said counselors would be available to support students “as long as necessary” and that students might come home with questions and concerns about the loss of their classmate. “Please take the time to discuss this with them and help them process through their grief,” he told parents.
In a statement issued through Harford County Public Schools on Tuesday morning, Abel said: “We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of one of our students, Isaac Pfarr. We hope that you understand that we do not wish to infringe upon the family’s privacy at this time so we will not be providing additional comment. We do have additional counseling and staff to support our school community during this difficult time.”
Abel also announced that there would be a momentof silence before each Patterson Mill home game in all sports this week, as well as before the next home JV football game Oct. 27 and the next home varsity football game Oct. 28.
Pfarr was the son of Robert and Sarah Isaac Pfarr (Brill) Pfarr and the brother of Aaron and Abigail Pfarr, according to the Schimunek Funeral Home website.
His father is a patrol sergeant with the Bel Air Police Department, and Pfarr was a member of the department’s youth Explorer Post 9010, according to police department spokesperson Sgt. Jim Lockard.
“We’re a small department; we’re all relatively close-knit,” Lockard said Tuesday. “We know each other’s husbands, wives, kids, parents, so it affects everyone here.”
The department has 31 sworn officers and 18 civilian employees. The elder Pfarr, who started as a police cadet in 1998, is the supervisor of the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, according to Lockard. Fellow officers will either work flex shifts or overtime to fill in while the sergeant is with his family.
“We want him to feel free to take the time he needs to be comfortable coming back to work,” Lockard said.
“Such a tragic loss for the Pfarr family, the community and the police department,” Bel Air Chief Chuck Moore said.
Moore said that Pfarr, “from several contacts I’ve had with him, was a gentle giant, had a quiet and calm demeanor and will be missed by everyone whose life he touched.”
The BAPD Explorer post is open to young people ages 14-21, who are trained to become future police cadets and law enforcement officers, according to the Town of Bel Air’s website.
The Explorer post has set up a GoFundMe page, Final Expenses for Isaac Pfarr, online. The post made an initial contribution of $2,000, and an initial goal of raising $15,000 was exceeded, so the goal was pushed to $20,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than $16,000 had been raised.
At Monday night’s Bel Air town meeting, Town Commissioner Brendan Hopkins asked for a moment of silence to remember the 17-year-old.
Relatives and friends are invited to call at the Schimunek Funeral Homeof Bel Air, Inc., 610 W. MacPhail Road, on Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
A celebration of life will be held at the funeral home Saturday, with interment to follow at Angel Hill Cemetery in Havre de Grace.