Journal entry by Jen Kelly

On behalf of Daniel’s father, Jason Hollis, older sister, Kate Hollis, and our entire extended family I would like to express our family’s gratitude for the overwhelming support sent to us over the last week.  It has become abundantly clear to us that Dan not only made the world brighter for his friends and family, but also for those he encountered.

Hard to ignore due to his height and strawberry-blonde hair, it was his infectious smile and dazzling blue eyes that danced with just a bit of mischief that pulled you in.  To put it simply, Dan loved life and wanted others to share in his happiness. He often quoted his favorite artist Travis Scott in saying, “I want people to have the best time ever.  Especially if they’re around me.”

Daniel was many things student, athlete, leader, artist, music lover, friend.  He was just 19 years old and only beginning to experience the world around him.  His family and the small town of Hopedale, Massachusetts provided a strong foundation from which he took off to explore the thrills of life in the city at Emerson College.  He looked forward to traveling abroad and expanding his creative pursuits through clothing and marketing. While often receiving recognition for his play on the field or ice, it was the camaraderie of the team that Dan most loved about sports.  For Daniel, life was about relationships and enjoying experiences with others.

As we mourn his loss, we take solace in the fact that Dan’s choice to be an organ donor saved the lives of three people on Thursday.  We pray for a speedy recovery and long, prosperous life for the recipients and their families. May they use his gift to make the world a better place.  

Our family would also like to thank the incredible nursing staff and the medical team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for their care and support of Daniel during his final days.  

We stand in full support of the Boston Police Department as they continue their investigation into this matter.  We are confident they will find the individuals responsible for this tragic act of violence and bring them to justice.

In the meantime, we kindly ask that the media refrain from continuing to disturb Daniel’s family and friends during our time of mourning.  We wish to focus our energy on celebrating his life and helping one another learn to live in a world with a little less sunshine.


Jennifer Kelly
(Dan's mom)

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