Friends and family share memories of Megan Richards, a Kent State student who died of brain cancer at 22


Photo provided by Rachel Richards.

Megan Richards loved hanging out with friends, participating in her sorority AXID and working for the College of Business Administration.

Troy Pierson, General Assignment Editor

Megan Richards’ loved ones remember her as being kind, loving and strong.

On Sunday, Sept. 4, Megan Marie Richards, a Kent State student, died at the age of 22 following a nearly two-year battle with brain cancer.

Richards was born on May 21, 2000, and grew up in Broadview Heights, Ohio. She is survived by her mother Kathy, her father Frank, her sister Rachel and her brother Zachary.

Richards was diagnosed with a high-grade glioma in November 2020 and underwent treatment at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

She graduated from Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in 2018 and enrolled at Kent State that same year.

During her time at Kent State, Richards majored in business management and worked in the College of Business Administration as an assistant for its advising office. She was also a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority (AXID) and Pi Sigma Epsilon business fraternity.

Richards’ mother, Kathy, described her daughter as a fun-loving girl who enjoyed being around people. In high school, Richards participated in cheerleading and marching band, and she was crowned winter formal queen her senior year. She was also “Life of the Party” for her senior superlative.

“Megan was always someone who if you wanted an honest opinion, she definitely would give it to you,” Kathy said. “She definitely was never afraid to say what she thought. Whenever she felt somebody wasn’t doing something right, like kind of being mean or unkind, she was definitely the first one to speak up.”

Kathy said her daughter was a hard-working student. She maintained a 3.9 GPA at Kent State and had aspirations of studying abroad in Florence, Italy, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was saddened by the news of Megan’s passing,” said Nicole Kotlan, who was one of Richards’ professors and the senior director for student progression and college operations at University College at Kent State. “My thoughts are with her family and friends. She was a joy to be around. She always brought a smile to those around her with her [wit] and positive energy. I admire the strength she put forth in battling her cancer. She will be missed.”

Richards loved to travel and especially enjoyed visiting the beach on vacation. Richards and her family recently visited Hilton Head in June before her passing.

Richards’ roommate Faith Dillillo said her favorite memories with Richards included eating brownie batter, watching Love Island and going out to parties on weekends. Dillillo said everyone loved Megan and that she had the biggest heart.

“Your friendships are kind of an extension of your family, definitely at school,” Dillillo said. “Megan felt like my family when I lived with her. I really appreciated having her in my life, and she’ll definitely be really missed.”

Megan Richards (right) and her roommate Alyssa Toth (left). (Photo provided by Alyssa Toth)

Richards’ other roommate, Alyssa Toth, said “there was never a dull moment” with her.

“She was always making people laugh,” Toth said, “always trying to talk to different people … never wanted anyone to feel left out.”

AXID sorority President Macy Dimacchia expressed her condolences to the Richards family and said the sorority is sending their thoughts and prayers. Members who knew Richards visited her calling hours on Thursday, Sept. 8.

AXID posted a commemoration statement on the sorority’s Instagram page and sent a bouquet of flowers for Richards’ funeral. Dimacchia said the sorority has received flowers and gifts from a number of Kent Greek life organizations in the past week.

“I can’t imagine what they’re [the family] going through right now,” Dimacchia said. “Everyone who knew her loved her. I’ve heard so many great stories about her, and she’s gone way too soon.”

The Richards family is encouraging donations to be sent to the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals, where Richards was a patient for her treatment.

Troy Pierson is general assignment editor. Contact him at [email protected].