Recent SIU grad killed in ATV rollover remembered as a ‘good role model’


Daniel Marcum. (Photo provided by Matt Risley)

By Cory Ray

Matt Risley remembers one of the last times he saw his friend and fraternity brother, Daniel Marcum, as they drove two weeks before Marcum’s passing. They were listening to Jake Owen’s “Everybody Dies Young,” Risley said.

Daniel Conrad Marcum, a May 2013 SIU graduate in agricultural systems from Alton, was killed in an ATV rollover Sunday while driving along Terpening Road in Alton, according to the Alton Daily News.

Marcum, who was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m. Sunday, was 26.


Risley, a May 2013 graduate in agricultural systems from Kentland, Ind., recalled many memories of him and Marcum driving through the roads of southern Illinois with friends.

“I’m just happy the last times I saw him and got to be with him were so happy, just loving every minute of it and just going,” Risley said during an interview Wednesday.

For Risley, it was the quiet, routine moments upon which he and Marcum built a friendship: shooting pool after school, staying up and talking all night and going to class together, to name a few.

Their friendship remained strong after SIU, and they kept in regular contact.

“I would hope my house felt like a second home [to him],” Risley said. “It didn’t matter that I was three or four hours from his hometown. He was stopping by.”

Daniel Marcum. (Photos provided by Matt Risley)
Daniel Marcum. (Photo provided by Matt Risley)

Marcum was a member of SIU’s Alpha Gamma Rho. His fraternity brother Andrew Reuschel — a May 2015 graduate in agriculture business economics and crop soil and environmental management — said Marcum had a quality and charisma that electrified those who met him.

“You can’t really even use ‘Marcum’ as a noun,” Reuschel said. “You almost have to use it as an adjective. He just did Marcum things, and every single person that met him instantly was drawn to him.”


Fellow AGR brother Brian Ludwig, a May 2014 graduate in agricultural systems from Edwardsville, said Marcum could make people laugh as soon as he entered a room.

“I remember one time we were talking, and I said, ‘I haven’t known you very long, and I had a lot of real good friends in high school, but in a short time, you’ve become one of my best friends,'” Ludwig said. “He looked at me and he said, ‘We’re not friends. We’re brothers. We’re family. Don’t ever forget it.'”

When Ludwig received the message about Marcum’s death, he dropped his phone. He said he didn’t want to believe it.

Ludwig said Marcum helped him through some of the most difficult moments of his life.

“He was a good role model to me and a few other brothers,” Risley said.

Marcum worked as a territorial manager for ACI distributors at the time of his passing, friends said.

“He may have only been 26 years old, but I don’t know anybody else our age that had lived that much life in that amount of time,” Ludwig said.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Gent Funeral Home in Alton. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church in Godfrey.

Staff writer Cory Ray can be reached at 618-536-3326, [email protected] or on Twitter @coryray_DE.

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