These wonderful people spoke at Brad's memorial service held on February 2, 2001,
at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California, the Evans family's home church.
 
David Fruchbom
Long-time friend
Noah Singer
College Roommate
Karen Kendall
Family friend
Scottia's Principal
Matt Evans
Brother
Morgan Evans
Brother
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David Fruchbom - Long-time friend
 
Darren MacDonald, who could not be here with us today, wrote a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Evans about their son Brad. They have asked me to share it with you all:
"I know that I am not going to tell you anything about Brad that you don't already know but I feel as though I should tell you what I have seen over the years to help you in your time of grieving.
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I cannot think of any one single friend that has spent more time with Brad either directly or indirectly throughout his entire life. I went through all of Harbor View with him, all of Corona del Mar with him, and all of Berkeley with him. I sat behind him and watched him juggle beanbags while giving his speech to all of our grammar school. I played with him or against him in over 18 sports teams during our time together and I may say quite eagerly that in all my time I have never, never met a more quality friend or person than Brad Evans. I don't say that lightly, however, because there is an inevitable truth to it. Never have I met someone that had done so much with their life yet always took the time to find out about mine. Thinking back on it now, our conversations were pretty funny because we were always in a constant battle wanting to know more about the other person than we wanted to divulge about ourselves. I always knew that he was doing amazing things with his life. Brad and I set out to do everything that ever crossed our minds. The major difference between him and me was that he always did it. I stopped being astonished when I saw a crowd of people from so many different walks of life gather to watch his band play at a bar in Berkeley. People from southern California, northern California, Stanford, Berkeley, Newport Beach and beyond; Everyone came out because they knew and loved him. Greek members, non-Greek members, friends and acquaintances all came out to see Brad and what he had accomplished that day. I saw him outside of a bicycle store one day in Berkeley and asked him what he was up to. "I am going to go buy a bike to do the AIDS Ride in a few months," he said. I never even twitched because this is what Brad did with his day.
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Every once in a while I measure what I am doing in my life by a quote about success that I heard many years ago. I read, "To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; that is what it is to be successful." I know, you know, and everyone that has ever known Brad knows quite well that he embodies everything about that statement. That genuine laugh that no one could ever dispute. The sincerity that you could see in his face when you helped him; or more likely, when he helped you out.
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Why am I reiterating all of this to you? The reason is very simple. I am not trying to candy-coat a very tragic situation, instead I am telling you that Brad accomplished more in a day than I would in a week. He did amazing things not only for himself but for others, as well. The reason why I am saying this is because I want you to feel joy for having blessed us all with such a wonderful person inside and out. More than anything else I would like to be the first to tell you that I have nothing but joy in my heart because I know one thing; that I have breathed easier because Brad has lived."

Brad Evans has been my friend for as long as I can remember. Like Darren I went through Harbor View and Corona del Mar with Brad and I was able to watch this great kid develop into a great human being. I have so many memories of our time together: playing basketball at the Boys' Club and in his driveway, watching his brother Matt play quarterback for the SeaKings, working late to meet the deadline for the Trident, our high school newspaper. Even at a young age Brad complemented his passions with his diligence. I remember, when we were 12 and 13 he organized a two-on-two basketball tournament, two years in a row, on Martin Luther King Day. He figured out the teams, made a big professional-looking tournament bracket, and collected a few bucks from each of us, arranging everything. He even had pizza and cokes delivered to the court; I mean, this was a sophisticated operation. Brad loved basketball and being with his friends and when he came up with a great idea for a tournament he worked hard to make it a success. And he had fun doing it. Brad never let his passion and creativity go to waste, and he had lots of both. The same was true of his intelligence. This might not do a lot for his image as a bassist, and you probably never heard him mention it, but he was awarded the Regents' and Chancellor's scholarship upon his admission to Berkeley &endash; the highest honor an incoming freshman can receive. And I can speak to how hard those are to get, since I interviewed for it but didn't get it.

When Brad went to Cal I had the indecency to attend its cross-bay rival, but he never held that against me. He always made the extra effort to visit me at Stanford, and if I was up in his area, seeing me was his priority. Brad's my oldest friend, and that alone says a lot about how loyal he was to those he cared about. I knew, without Brad ever having to say it, that he would do anything for me - all he would need in return was the knowledge that he had helped out a friend. Last September, I called him on a Friday to tell him I was arriving in San Francisco from Los Angeles late that same night. When I got there at 2 in the morning, there was Brad &endash; he had come over from Berkeley by himself and hung out with five of my college friends, waiting for me to show up. Even though we were now living farther apart, it was clear that he was not going to let our friendship grow more distant, and I can't tell you how good that felt. He had that power, to make people feel special. He was a great listener and when he talked to someone he could always see the good in them, sometimes better than they could see it themselves.But Brad's compassion extended beyond his circle of friends and family. In college he helped a fellow student with cerebral palsy move to a new apartment &endash; not because he wanted to feel good about himself, or because he hadn't done a good deed in a few weeks, but because he had a van. In his mind it was really that simple: this person needed some help and he was in a position to provide it. He didn't think he was doing anything special, but he was &endash; he was being Brad. He always thought of others before he thought of himself.He had such a big heart and when he shared it with us he made our lives better. Like a lot of us, myself included, Brad had some rough times early on in high school. But he stayed true to who he was and blossomed into such a beautiful person. I am so proud of Brad for being exactly who he wanted to be. I am honored to have known him and to have been touched by him and to have laughed with him. My oldest friend, he showed me, time after time, what it is to be a friend.
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Noah Singer - College Roommate

Well, we made a great team. There are so many things that I could talk about today. But given that I can only have a few minutes of time, I want to tell you what I believe to be the most important lesson that we can learn from Brad- and that is to be excited about life.

Brad was so excited not just about being alive, but about what he was doing with his life. He and I shared so many plans and projects over the last 4 1/2 years, and I can honestly say that no one single person has ever motivated me the way that Brad did. So many things I never would've done with my life I was able to because Brad was simply there. He didn't have to put out any effort to motivate me… all that had to happen was for him to show his infectious enthusiasm… that way he would just grin "with his whole body" as Mike Bise put it a few days ago.

Last year, when Brad and I were thinking of doing a bike ride from San Francisco to L.A. to raise money for AIDS services, I loved the idea but there were so many doubts. Would we be able to raise the money? Would we have the time to train? Would we be able to pedal a bike for 8 hours a day for 7 days straight? But then Brad got in his van one night and drove down to an AIDS Ride presentation and signed up right there. Just like that. How could I possibly not do it after that? How could I watch him doing everything to prepare, and not join him on the ride? I had to… the enthusiasm Brad brought to things like that made it impossible for me not to join in.

And I'll tell you, enthusiasm is one of those loaded traits… I think that to possess it requires far more than most people realize. It requires the courage to put everything you have into something, without knowing whether it is going to work out. I want you to think about that. I want you to ask yourself whether or not you ever do that. I don't think that there are very many people who do. Maybe everyone is just scared of what might happen if they fail.

And Brad, like everyone else on Earth, was not guaranteed success. But that never stopped him from daring to attempt something that he didn't know if he could do. Abraham Lincoln said: "I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light I have." And that was Brad. His life wasn't hindered by worries about success or failure. It was instead characterized by an awe-inspiring enthusiasm for whatever he was doing. He was testing himself, and his successes were a nice by-product of his primary need to live up to the light that he had.

Brad's enthusiasm spilled into everything he did &endash; not just hobbies. So many people got to see it at Zachary's Pizza where Brad worked for 2 years. It may sound like such a small thing…. Being a waiter at a pizza place. But the truth is that Brad was not only a dedicated, loyal and hard-working employee, but he was also able to bring his enthusiasm to the job. The Zachary's employees, some of whom are here today, are all wearing black ribbons at work during the month of February in honor of Brad.

When I first got the idea of putting a band together, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the task. So many things had to be done that I didn't think I could really do it. The one thing that I needed in order to go through with it was undying enthusiasm, and that was something I didn't have. In truth, I was too full of self-doubt to believe that anyone would ever want to listen to anything that I wrote. I needed something to give me the courage to go out and do it… to live up to the light that I had. In short, I needed Brad.

I wanted so badly for him to join me not just because of his great voice and musical talent, but also because I knew that I needed his enthusiasm, and people with his kind of enthusiasm are truly one in a million. I knew that he would keep me motivated, and keep me going through my moments of self- doubt. I was right. His excitement about the band rubbed off on me so well that, at times, I literally could not sleep at night. I remember, in the weeks leading up to our first show, talking about how we each found ourselves laying awake at night, just imagining what it was going to be like to be on stage. Imagine that. Two 21 year olds, unable to sleep at night like 5 year olds before Christmas. It wasn't long after that conversation that Brad designed the Fill-up Phil buttons that many of us are wearing today.

Losing Brad is without a doubt the worst thing that has ever happened to me. And I know that there are many many people here today who feel the same way. But I am determined, nevertheless, to go through the rest of my life with the same sense of wonder and excitement that Brad did. I remember Brad and I talking once recently, saying that we hoped our friends and families were as excited by what they were doing with their lives as we were with ours. And what I want to say now is that you have to, for Brad. I can't think of a more significant way to honor his memory. I can't promise you that the coming weeks and months will be easy. But we can either let Brad's enthusiasm die with him, or we can allow it to live on, in all of us. Change your lives if necessary, but live so that your life excites you, so much that you can't sleep at night. Live up to the light you have.

One of Brad's favorite songs was "That Summer Feeling," by Jonathan Richman, and it is so fitting, because it's about the importance of recapturing the joy and excitement that most of us stopped feeling when we were still children.

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Karen Kendall

Good afternoon. My name is Karen Kendall, and it's my honor to have been asked to share a few moments with you today on behalf of Scottia and Paul. Last Wednesday morning, just as the sun was rising and the sky took on hues of magenta and purple, Scottia and I sat on a bench on Balboa Island in a shared reflective moment. We smiled and cried as we recalled Brad's beauty and uniqueness as a son, brother, grandson, nephew, friend, athlete, scholar, mentor, employee, musician, traveler, and inspiration. We reflected on the themes that Scottia and Paul especially wanted to celebrate about Brad and the gifts he had bestowed upon us during the short time we were all privileged to love and enjoy him in this life.

A rich tapestry of experience enveloped us as we sat on that bench. Scottia and I share common bonds as friends, educators, parents, and community members-and we were Cal moms, since both of my children and her Brad attended UC Berkeley. Many a moment has been spent discussing the joys of watching our emergent adults grow and blossom. Scottia and I work at Harbor View School; Brad attended there as a youngster. Even then, he had stood out from the crowd, serving as President of the Student Council and managing to get the bathrooms repainted (always a major feat!). Upon graduation from CdMHS, Brad earned the Harbor View scholarship. While considering his scholarship application, reviewers even at that time made a note that he was "the consummate Renaissance man." Brad returned to Harbor View as an employee the summer before entering Berkeley, and he and I enjoyed sharing "Go, Bears!" greetings at work. As a Student Assistant, he wowed us with his poise and energy in the front office. On special assignment, he worked in perfect syncopation with his dad as they enthusiastically embraced the task of relocating our Computer Lab. Those were wonderful days, full of humor, camaraderie, and plans for a bright future.

But now, Scottia and I sat on a bench on Balboa Island, desperately trying to bear the unbearable and comprehend the incomprehensible. Three strong themes emerged through our tears that I'd like to share with you now, as collectively you and I concentrate our love, thoughts, and prayers on our extraordinarily talented and loving Bradley Evans.

First, Paul and Scottia have no regrets. They are overcome with grief for the future, but they have no regrets about the past. Their three boys shared, played, grew, and loved in sweet unison, each representing an equal one-third of a whole. The boys' circles of friends intermeshed; their interests entwined, complimented, and intrigued each other. The intimacy that they shared and the fullness of their devotion to one another means that now there are no regrets for the past. There are neither negative memories nor "wish I hads" in the way in which Paul and Scottia face this difficult path. Their joy in raising and loving Brad will never end, because their family was a full and complete circle for the 23 years he was with them.

Second, small but important words and gestures are the memories that sustain Scottia and Paul now. We are again reminded of the three most important words in our language: "I love you." Scottia shared that ever since all three boys left home, they have never ended a phone conversation without the words, "I love you, Mom." The words haven't been uttered by rote or without meaning. Rather, no matter what the content of the conversation, the sincerity and constancy of the salutation of "I love you, Dad," was always in place. What a treasured memory for parents-and what a reminder to all of us that we must never miss an opportunity to express our devotion to a loved one.

Finally, how is the family getting through this? You are the answer. Through the support of every one of you here today and the scores of others who have phoned, dropped by, emailed, sent cards, provided housing for visitors, dropped off gourmet food, and communicated your love of Brad Evans, Brad's legacy has been celebrated, and Scottia and Paul have gathered courage and strength. Scottia said," To those of you who overcame your uncertainty and made the phone call or knocked on the door: thank you! We know it wasn't easy, and our thanks are heartfelt. You made that particular quarter hour pass by with less pain." The family always knew that Brad was a gift to the world, a rare jewel that they were fortunate enough to have within their family. They had no idea, however, that there were so many other people who had been touched by Brad's compassion, sweetness, humor, and intelligence. Thank you for sharing your love, hugs, and stories--this has been so comforting to the family. From Brad's Chilean mother's phone call to the van-full of Zachary's Pizza colleagues from Cal who drove down for today's memorial, every voice of compassion and love has been a balm to the family's pain. They realize that every single person sitting here today had to change plans and go to considerable effort to be here to honor their son. And, they want me to leave you with these words: "As our family attempts the impossible task of planning and living an existence without Brad, we encourage you to continue your life-sustaining prayers on our behalf. Continue please the calls and visits, the walks and jokes, and especially the hugs. We'll all get better if you do." Scottia, Paul, Morgan, Pam and Matt will be forever grateful for your support. Most of all, they thank you for loving and treasuring their incredibly talented and special son and brother and for helping us celebrate the life of Bradley Evans today--and forever.

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Matt Evans

Many people have brothers and many people have best friends, but I feel very fortunate to tell you that I was lucky enough to say my brothers are, and will forever be, my best friends. It has always been Morgan, Matt, and Brad. It has always been the Evans Boys. We will forever have a bond that will hold us together as long as Morgan and I continue to remember and share with our best friend. As a testament to my parents devotion to each other and to their boys, Morgan and I are proud and comforted in the fact that we have zero regrets about our powerful but all too short relationship with Brad.

Last Wednesday we were sitting in Dr. Huffman's office trying to prepare for today's events. Discussing the possibilities of using a bagpiper, the question was asked "How does one find a Piper?," and in all the sadness of the moment Morgan and I looked at each other and shared a smile because we knew that Brad would have laughed at the thought of a scene from the movie "So I Married an Ax Murderer." There have been so many moments over the years when someone would inadvertently say a line from a movie and the three of us would eyeball each other and start laughing. We had an amazing unspoken way of communicating in which only the three of us knew what the other was thinking. And as many of you know, once you got Brad laughing it was very hard for anyone to keep a straight face.

I would like to read to you an excerpt from the last email that he sent to Morgan and me.

Hey dudes,
A quick email to say that it was great to see you both this vacation (if only for a few days). Matt, I'm going to send you a book I bought on the Internet that may be an interesting read. Morgan . . . I have nothing to send you.
After some personal comments, Brad wrote, "Best moment of vacation (second to hanging with you two):
One on one dinner with Grandpa at Hof's Hut. Homeboy talked for two hours. It was great.
All right brothers, take it easy and I'll talk to you soon.
Love,
Brad

Brad approached life with a quirky smile and an open mind. Even when things were bad, Brad would find a way to turn them into a positive outcome. He always saw the good in people, even when others could not, or just would simply chose not to.

Brad lived life on his own terms and marched to his own drummer. He was a rare individual who did things purely because he wanted to, not because he felt compelled by outside pressure or social influences. While many of his peers were stressing about post college plans Brad was never more happy than playing in his band with Noah and working as, what he called, a "Pizza Distribution Engineer" at Zachary's. Brad knew that law school could wait... but being 23 years old wouldn't.

Many of Brad's friends have called my family to tell us what a great person he was and how lucky they were to have known him. They spoke of what a awesome friend he was who always brought joy to any situation.

As I rack my brain trying to figure out what could possibly be gained from this senseless tragedy I keep coming back to a possible conclusion... if everyone who knew Brad tried to emulate his amazingly positive attitude toward life, his ability to find the good in whatever situation he was in, his joyful and passionate approach towards life... then maybe, just maybe, this loss... will help some people to redefine their approach to life.

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Morgan Evans

I've heard it said that you don't know what you've got until it's gone.

From October 10, 1977, until January 28, 2001, I was proud to tell anyone who would listen that my best friends were my little brothers Matt and Brad. The three of us were so close. But with just one phone call on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I was robbed of one of my two best friends and have experienced a pain so profound that I will never be whole again. Amidst the haze of the last week -- amidst the anger and the incredible sadness, I have clung desperately to the knowledge that the old saying, you don't know what you've got until it's gone, was never less true than in our case. My brother Matt and I knew precisely what we had before our baby brother was abruptly taken from us - we recognized it every day.

For 23 years, Matt and I were privileged to share our lives with Brad. Over the years, it was always an honor to see that some of the characteristics and qualities he developed clearly reflected his love, admiration and respect for us, his big brothers. Without question, many more of our characteristics and qualities reflected our love, admiration and respect for him. The way we laughed - the way Matt and I are able to see the humor in situations where others cannot, the way we counsel each other on so many of life's decisions whether great or small - these are some of the countless ways that Brad helped shape who we are. Brad's sense of compassion and caring was quite extraordinary. In a time when people are quick to talk about themselves and criticize others, Brad was concerned with how you were doing and was accepting of short-comings and inadequacies in others. He really thought about responses to your questions and provided words and advice that showed reflection and candor. For some time I have been working to be more like Brad in that regard, and I want to honor his memory by continuing to do so. Quite literally, on a daily basis Brad impacted our lives - Matt and I knew it and we often made sure Brad knew it too.

Although they never needed to say it, my parents had always told us that it was their fondest wish that their boys would grow up to be friends and confidants, and would remain close as adults. In the last few years, with the knowledge that their boys had done just that, my parents had taken to telling us that it is their greatest joy that their boys are best friends and love each other so much. Although it feels like Matt, Brad and I were responsible for the quality of our relationship, in truth I know that it is my parents who should be credited with the caliber of our character and our immense love for each other. They show us. They teach us. They love us.

I want my parents to know that their wish was and will always be fulfilled.

At Christmas - just over one month ago - I received the last worldly gift Brad would ever give me - it was the Beatles "One" CD - with 27 number one songs. Not only did we listen to it together, but we talked in-depth about each song, about its lyrics and music, and about the traits that made it a classic. This was so typically Brad - to give a gift that you would not only enjoy, but that would somehow foster his relationship with the you. I was driving to the airport yesterday to pick up Dr. and Mrs. Strawn, as part of our preparation for this celebration of Brad's life and his gift was in my cd player. As I listened to track 26 over and over again, the tears would not stop and I didn't want them to...

"And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me / Shine until tomorrow..."

Matt and I love you Brad. We thank you for the honor of being able to say that we are your brothers.

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