In Memoriam: Collin Wood Trench (June 10, 1989 – September 17, 2021)

With profound sorrow, we announce the sudden passing of our son and brother Collin Wood Trench on September 17, 2021. He is survived by his father, W. Corey Trench, Jr., his mother, Suanne Shields Trench, his two older brothers, Robert Corey Trench and Philip Shields Trench, and a grandmother, June Shields. 

During this time of mourning, the family requests privacy. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Hope Family Village, a public charity inspired by Collin, and dedicated to serving the concrete needs of caregivers and loved ones who endure serious mental illness. You can contribute either by mail (PO Box, 982, Williamsburg, VA 23187) or visit www.hopefamilyvillage.org and click the donate button.

Collin was born an old soul. Intensely curious, he sought to understand, appreciate and interpret this world. He framed his questions with purity and purpose. Without readily revealing his beliefs and opinions, he wanted to know yours, suspending judgement. 

Though born with club feet, he never let this impediment slow him down. Throughout his life, he never complained. He did the opposite. At great risk to himself, he attracted and imbibed the stories and pain of others, then would offer to help them. He could also share in their joy as if it were his own. He reflected an uncommon empathy for humanity, while privately pursuing his own ambitions and enduring struggles. Always he expressed his gratitude for help and support. He shunned being a burden to others. 

Collin loved animals (particularly cats) and they gravitated to him. He inherited this trait from his great, grandmother (Emily Wood,  her daughter, his grandmother (Margaret Trench Sawmiller) and through his father. 

As young boys, he and his brothers grew up in Upstate New York. In the back field of their home, they ran, played football, soccer, basketball, skated, golfed and climbed “the Danger Tree.” Made movies together under brother Corey’s direction. Lou the Cat watched it all. Collin loved soccer and football. His brother Phil encouraged him to play basketball, where he joined the older guys at Pleasant Street. He was the consummate teammate.

When he discovered an interest, particularly later in his young life, he would dive into it and demonstrate an early mastery few could. Philosophy, logic, and quantum theory would capture his imagination.  He enjoyed puzzles, chess, drawing, and music. He was a modern day Renaissance man, who quietly roamed this plane without fanfare. A modest man, he lived with few wants and needs. Only independence and freedom.

Academically, he attended Onondaga Community College (2006 – 08), transferred to SUNY Canton, where he was enrolled in a new program, Alternate and Renewable Energy Systems, achieving the Dean’s List his first semester (2009). Later, he was selected to perform research for his advisor. Collin was a legacy student. His Great-grandfather, William Washington Trench attended St, Lawrence University, which back then included the Canton campus.

At 10 years old, he first expressed his desire to live alone, in the country, with no mail box. At 14, he received his working papers and immediately went to work helping the elderly. He dreamed of purchasing and owning a car, which he would accomplish by 19. He fulfilled his intent to live alone and be independent. By then, he had realized the necessity of having a mailbox. 

All the while, Collin stayed true to his nature. He never stopped his inquiry. He kept learning. He kept listening to and helping other people. He set an example of courage and kindness for all of us to emulate.

He was a warm, gentle soul to those who knew him best. A younger brother who kept his older siblings in check with love and laughter.