These articles appeared in Newport Beach Area newspapers


The Daily Pilot
Newport Beach - Costa Mesa

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Family, friends remember Corona del Mar alum Brad Evans, a former basketball player from Newport Beach, died Sunday in Oakland at the age of 23.

Friends and family, as well as current and former classmates and teammates, shared warm and lasting memories Tuesday of Brad Evans, a former Corona del Mar High basketball player who died in an Oakland house fire Sunday morning.

A charismatic bass player and bright psychology major preparing to graduate from UC Berkeley in May, Evans, 23, died before he could take the world by storm.

And that is just what he would have done, said Evans' friends and family.

"He was one of the most self-sacrificing, altruistic people I have ever known," said Ryan Rekers, 22, who graduated from Corona del Mar High School with Evans in 1996. "He really lcared about people. He just had a lot of fun. He lived for the moment and had a great time."

Evans was overcome by smoke when a friend's house where he was sleeping caught fire about 7:15 a.m. Evans, found in a guest bedroom, was the only one of six people in the house who did not escape.

Brent Steele, 23, another Corona del Mar High alumnus, was injured while fleeing the house and was in stable condition Tuesday night at Highland Hospital in Oakland, according to hospital officials, who declined to discuss his injuries. Mike Bise, also a Corona del Mar High alumnus, as well as three others, escaped the house without major injury.

Evans, who worked as a waiter at Zachary's Pizza in Berkeley, also played bass guitar in the rock band Fillup Phil. His brother Matt Evans said he planned to tour the Bay Area with his band after graduation and possibly attend law school.

"He was an amazing person who brought joy into any situation," said Matt Evans, who graduated from Corona del Mar High in 1993.

"He was so intelligent. He worked at a pizza place because he liked it, not because he wanted to make a lot of money. He was driven by happiness. He backpacked all over Europe with his friends, and he spent a semester studying in Santiago, Chile. He packed more into 23 years than most people experience in a lifetime."

Megan Arganbright, a manager at Zachary's, said Evans was a beloved member of a close-knit restaurant staff.

"He was just one of the most amazing men I've met," Arganbright said. "He was funny and always in a good mood. He was one of the few people who never came to work in a bad mood. We all spent a lot of time together, both at work and outside work, and Brad was a friend to everyone, including me. He was just a genuine person."

Others recalled the upbeat personality that characterized Evans, who started as a senior guard for the 1995-96 Sea Kings, helping them advance to the CIF Southern Section Division III-A quarterfinals. He was called up from the junior varsity squad for the the 1995 CIF varsity playoff run, which resulted in a Division IV-AA championship. He was also co-editor of the student newspaper at Corona del Mar High.

"We grew up playing basketball together," said Josh Walz, one of Evans' teammates. "He was really nice, a great guy with a genuine personality. He was a real comfortable person to be around."

Darren MacDonald, another teammate who recently graduated from UC Berkeley, called Evans "a good buddy of mine.

"He always had a smile on his face, and every time you spoke with him, he had something special going on in his life," MacDonald said. "And he was always so interested in what was going on in your life. His interest in others was always so sincere."

Matt Evans, speaking Tuesday from his parents' Balboa Island home, said the family, including his father, Paul, mother Scottia and older brother Morgan, have been moved by calls and correspondence from well-wishers.

"It's a testament to Brad's character," Matt Evans said. "My brothers have been my best friends, and I still haven't begun to cope with the loss. My parents were school teachers, so we had our breaks together and we traveled a lot as a family. I still fully expect Brad to walk in the door."

A memorial service is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to a scholarship fund being set up in Evans' honor. Donations may be sent to The Brad Evans Foundation, P.O. Box 456, Balboa Island, CA 92662.

Orange County Register
The Light - Newport Beach
Community News / The Register
The Orange County Register
February 8, 2001
Berkeley senior dies in Oakland apartment fire
By Moshay Simmpson
Paul and Scottia Evans packed their son Brad's things for the long trip home from Berkeley Tuesday.
They packed some of the things that had meaning to Brad; like his funky 1940s-era glasses, the raggedy track shoes he raced in while attending Corona del Mar High, the bass guitar he played for his band Fillup Phil and the Zachary's Chicago Pizza T-shirts he wore when he worked there.
They left the rest of Brad's things to his University of California at Berkeley friends, who, like the Evans family, are still grieving the 23-year-old after he died of smoke inhalation in an Oakland apartment fire Jan. 28. Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief James Williams said the fire was caused when a combustible object, like a blanket, was ignited by a first floor heater. The fire is still under investigation.
``It's a staggering loss for our family,'' his mother said. Over 1,400 friends and family gathered at a memorial service for Evans Friday at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. The Evans family has lived in Newport Beach more than 30 years. Paul and Scottia both teach in the Newport-Mesa School District.
``I've known him my whole life and you just can't find something bad to say about him. He was the funniest guy I knew,'' said David Fruchbom, who among other things worked with Evans on the school paper. ``He was just a genuine person.''
Scottia said her son's sense of humor was an amalgamation of ``The Simpsons,'' ``Seinfeld,'' and actor Mike Myers. She said the way the community has come together, housing and shuttling visiting family, the phone calls and thoughts have been a comfort and a testament to Brad.
We were just amazed at the number of people he had a positive affect on,'' his father said. Before leaving for home, Paul said employees at Zachary's threw a celebration for Brad, who was due to receive his Bachelor's degree in Psychology in May. His older brothers, Morgan and Matthew,will receive the degree on his behalf now.
Fruchbom said lately it's been hard to concentrate at work but he's happy that he has friends to remember Brad with so that he isn't grieving alone. He spoke with Brad two weeks before he died. His parents said they saw him last during Christmas break where Scottia says they find solace in their last face-to-face encounter.
``I still remember what we said to him,'' she said. ``We said, `you know Brad, even if you weren't our kid, you'd be great company.'''
To keep Brad's memory alive, the Evans family has started a foundation in his name. The family asks that those who wish to send their support, contribute to The Brad Evans Foundation, P.O. Box 456, Balboa Island, 92662