The Arthur Newspaper staff of 2012/2013 had the pleasure of working alongside a particularly kind student, Brad Whalen-Strauss.
You could tell he was a wonderful person from the way he was always smiling, and his big bellow of a laugh.
On October 7th, 2016 the world lost this beautiful soul when Brad unexpectedly passed away at his home, at the young age of 26. Some of his closest friends were former staff of Arthur — a testament to the kind of community Arthur builds.
His obituary reads, “Bradley had a great love for fitness and sports, particularly soccer. His passion for music and teaching children will resonate in the hearts and minds of those whose lives will be forever changed by knowing this fine young man.” This couldn’t be a truer statement.
Over the past week, loved ones and friends have been posting and sharing their memories about Brad The strong, consistent thread in every mention of his name is Brad’s smile and laughter. During his time working at Arthur, Brad certainly was able to brighten up the office, even when he was focused on the meticulous proofreader task of copyediting every line of the paper before it was sent off to print.
Beyond his involvement with Arthur, Brad was an active and welcomed participant in many Trent University and Peterborough activities.
He was often seen entertaining a crowd with his piano playing at open mic nights at the Trend and the Spill, playing soccer, attending TQC Board Game Nights, contributing his knowledge during Trivia nights at Sapphire Room, keeping in shape at the Trent Athletic Center, climbing with friends, and participating in shows on Trent Radio. And of course, he was always one of the best and most fun people to have around at parties.
Brad truly brought cheer to everyone he met. His best friend, former roommate, and Arthur coworker Jesse McRae perfectly captures the essence of the role Brad contributed to his friends, “He was an exemplary human being who gave everything to everyone and never asked for anything from anyone.
He was there for many of the best times in my life, and helped me through some of the worst ones. No matter what he may have been personally dealing with, Brad never faltered when it came to supporting me as much as possible, but I was not alone in being so fortunate. He cared with his whole being for all he knew.”
After graduating from Trent in 2014, Brad went on to enroll in the Bachelor of Education program at Queen’s University, where a whole other set of people got to experience his kindness and infectious positivity.
Brad’s main career goal was to pursue a teaching career. He wanted to educate the younger generation in ways that would allow them reach their potential. He believed in making learning fun and valuable. He also cared deeply about the environment, wildlife, and how humans could shape and live with the natural world.
His friend, classmate, and Arthur coworker, Jen Blue, remembers these qualities fondly, “Brad was the kind of person who refused to squish bugs and who always convinced kids they were amazing soon-to-be-published authors and how in 4 years, he literally made me laugh every single time we hung out.”
Loving son of Kathy Whalen and David Strauss (Linda). Adored brother of Alex and Meagan. Bradley will be missed by family, classmates, coworkers, and friends. Former Arthur co-editor, Sara Ostrawska, describes the loss Brad’s community is feeling, “I’ve never met anyone like Brad before, he was one of the quirkiest people I’ve ever met.”
His perspective of the world was truly unique and he always had people’s best intentions in mind. I can’t imagine the way he felt, because everyone loved him very much and knew he had a bright future. He didn’t deserve this. I just can’t believe we’re never going to see him again. It’s surreal. The Brad we know and love will forever be in our hearts, but there is large hole for now.”
Former Arthur editor, Miranda Rigby, reflects, ”If you ever get to be blessed with meeting someone as genuine, kind, and reliable as Brad, hold on to them tightly. Losing him was, and continues to be, devastating.”
We miss you, Brad. May you rest in peace.