The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Menlo Students and Faculty Recall Marco Troper’s (‘23) Powerful Impact

Photo courtesy of Tania Troper

Marco Troper (‘23) passed away on Feb. 13, 2024 in his dorm room at UC Berkeley. In the months following his death, the Menlo community has mourned a talented and unique individual whose legacy will not be forgotten.

While Marco was well-known by students and faculty alike for his natural brilliance and ambition, those closest to him especially admired his genuine heart. Marco’s sister, sophomore Tania Troper, and his cousin, junior Zoe Schauer, found that Marco inspired those around him to live life with kindness and authenticity.

Marco with his younger sister Tania. Photo courtesy of Tania Troper

“He had such a free spirit, and honestly, that was so impactful for me,” Tania said. “He was just super kind. He was honestly like the best brother I could have ever asked for. He was always willing to pick me up, or to help me, or to do anything for me and for Zoe and for our family.”

Drake Piscione (‘23), one of Marco’s closest friends, shared a similar sentiment in an email to The Almanac. “As a person, he had a heart of gold that radiated kindness and warmth. Being with him was like being blessed with this incredible energy that just made life better,” he wrote to the Menlo Park-based newspaper.

“One thing [I wish others experienced] is how big his heart is,” Eli Housenbold (‘23), who became friends with Marco in sixth grade, told The Coat of Arms. “He truly cared about people.”

Tania and Schauer recalled how Marco’s warmth was evident when he spent time with his younger cousin Ava. “[Ava] hates all of us,” Schauer joked. “But she was obsessed with Marco.” 

Eddie Fujimori (‘23), a friend of Marco’s since sixth grade, feels as though Marco was always there to support him. “He was like the one person I could always rely on to like, be there for me. […] He was the one person that I could always count on who wouldn’t judge and always offer like, good advice or you know, at least a supporting presence,” he said.

While Marco was gentle and caring, he wasn’t afraid to ruffle feathers. He was known for having strong opinions and being eager to jump into debate. “Anytime you would talk to him, he would just make it into such an interesting conversation because he just knew so much about the world,” Tania said.  

Marco’s interest in conversation was driven by his curiosity. “He was really curious about a lot of stuff, […] and he wouldn’t just like scrape the surface of a lot of the stuff he did. He would like, really, really dive into it,” Fujimori said.

Marco never feared judgment; he encouraged those around him to follow their heart without regard for others’ opinions. “He had a very carefree mentality; like, he didn’t care what anyone else thought. I always thought that was a really cool thing,” Tania said.

Marco and fellow members of Menlo’s Class of 2023 stand together during their senior year. Photo courtesy of Tania Troper

Housenbold, who was more shy in middle school, attributes the confidence he found in high school to Marco. Housenbold was hesitant to join the football team freshman year, but Marco encouraged him to give it a shot. “He was like, ‘Who cares if you’re not the best at football. Just go out there and try it. Just be yourself,’” Housenbold said. Likewise, Fujimori appreciates the way Marco pushed him to reach outside of his comfort zone.

While his character stood out, Marco was known as a STEM prodigy for a reason. According to Tania, Marco had such an affinity for math that his family banned doing math at the dinner table. Marco participated in math competitions and hackathons, at one of which he made some of his closest friends in sixth grade. “The first time we got really close was at the Menlo Hackathon,” Housenbold said. “Our table was me, Marco, Austin and Eddie — the Fujimori twins — and instead of coding, we ended up playing video games for 24 hours.”

In fact, Housenbold and Marco spent much of their free time playing video games. “Marco’s favorite games were Minecraft, TF2, and Rainbow Six Siege,” Housenbold said. The two also passed time listening to hip-hop. “Marco was probably Juice WRLD’s biggest fan,” he said.

Marco also enjoyed being active and often played tennis and worked out with friends. Regardless of what they were doing, Fujimori always enjoyed Marco’s uplifting presence. “His laughter was really, really contagious,” Fujimori said.

In the classroom, Marco brought that very same passion. “While he was very goofy, […] he had a strong intrinsic interest in the subject,” Marco’s AT Math teacher Reeve Garrett said. “While a lot of seniors started to get senioritis and the engagement kind of dipped, I think that as the content got more involved Marco actually got more interested in it, and I really appreciated that. He would participate and play ball when I had questions for the class.”

Although Marco is no longer with us, he lives on in the memories of those who knew and loved him. To honor his life and preserve his legacy, one should live by the values Marco embodied: curiosity, authenticity and kindness.

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About the Contributors
Tatum Herrin
Tatum Herrin, Editor in Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 4

Favorite aspect of journalism: Designing pages

Interests outside of school: Mock trial and lacrosse

Class of 2024

Lizzie Freehill
Lizzie Freehill, Online Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Watching the pieces come together as everyone does their part. It's a really fun and unique experience

Interests outside of school: politics, lacrosse, playing with my puppy Roxie, hanging out with my friends

Class of 2024

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  • C

    Cort HalseyJun 20, 2024 at 1:30 pm

    Love you marco ❤️