Cover photo for Brad Russel Lawrence's Obituary
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1964 Brad 2024

Brad Russel Lawrence

October 24, 1964 — May 8, 2024

Brad Russel Lawrence, born on October 24, 1964, passed away on May 8, 2024. He spent his final days surrounded by the love of his family, with his eldest daughter by his side, ensuring he was cared for with deep affection and respect. Brad was the beloved second eldest child of Peter and the late Shirley Lawrence. He embraced life with passion, notably for fishing, and cherished the close relationships he built with his friends and family.

Brad faced life’s challenges with courage and grace. Over the past eight years, he overcame numerous health difficulties, becoming somewhat of a medical marvel even to his doctors. Over the past year, he bravely battled cancer and, despite a brief period of hopeful remission, succumbed to its spread. Brad spent his final days with his family, receiving the care and love of his eldest daughter Melissa. His legacy of resilience and compassion remains a beacon for all who knew him.

Brad is survived by his father Peter; his daughters Melissa (and her partner Mus) and Sam; his grandson Kingston; his siblings Grant (and his wife Sue) Lawrence and their children Mathew and Cameron, Ann and her son Justin, Scott (and his wife also named Sue) Lawrence and their children Chloe, Zach, and Ava. He is also survived by a community of dear friends who will miss his warm presence, helping nature, and unwavering friendship. His memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.

Personal Reflections

From Peter Lawrence (Brad’s father):

Brad, my second son, was an incredibly self driven individual, always out front and pushing the envelope.

His being bright and quick surfaced at grade school when he would answer the teachers questions before the teacher completed the question.

He was always quick to learn many things including school subjects and methods to win games and then the computing world.

Because of his very quick learning capabilities, he avoided the authority and instruction of teachers and other academic assistance. An amazing gift and capability. He had an amazing focus to be able to cut to the core of any challenge or discussion with sometimes a very blunt impatience.

He was an amazing cook who did not tolerate others' culinary incompetence. He also in his teens and while at high school was a short order cook at the famous Italian restaurant on Rideau St. called Imbros which does not exist anymore. One evening after having worked at the restaurant he brought a large can of the spaghetti sauce, which they were famous for, in Shirley’s car and you might guess what happened. The can rolled over in the car trunk which of course was then covered in spaghetti sauce.

He had a high school friend whose father owned Imbro’s restaurant and that’s how Brad got into the system of becoming a chef.

Brad was extremely generous and considerate to me and to his mother, my late wife, Shirley, who always recognized Brad’s need for more attention than our other three children (Grant, Ann and Scott).

His love for the outdoors and for animals was always most evident. For example, his mother finding his trouser pocket full of baby Garter snakes, his rescuing a baby duckling running down the lawn and having it in bed with him, bringing home a nest full of young birds that had been abandoned, carrying a snapping turtle under his arm.

He was also an enthusiastic fisherman, who totally enjoyed the freedom of having his own boat and being able to go fishing with his friends, especially Rick who lived at Pinney’s Point, which is about 4-5 miles upstream from our property on Grandview Rd. It was the act of fishing that he really enjoyed and always returned his catch to the river.

He was also a very enthusiastic sportsman especially with lacrosse which he played with aggression and with no reservations.

My only regret for myself is my absence from the family as my children grew up especially with Brad who I repeatedly put off for his request to go fishing and other outdoor activities.

From Grant (oldest brother):

Brad, my younger brother, was a bit of a rebel.  When we were teenagers bought a street legal dirt-bike, an enduro, before he was 16 and he convinced me to get my license and drive him around!  When he got his license, I was now the passenger and I can recall him weaving through traffic with me on the back!  He scared the sh*! out of me. 

Later in life, Brad tended to keep his emotions guarded, so, when he did open up and let loose with conversation, joking and laughing, it was truly heartwarming to experience. In the past year, I've noticed more of these moments, and they've brought me genuine joy, and I’d wished this had continued as we were moving towards Brad jumping on a plane spending time with Sue & I.

From Ann (sister):

Brad was a challenging brother at times to grow up with. He definitely danced to the beat of his own drum and did things none of the rest of us dared, like driving his motorcycle over a frozen river! He mellowed over time and was very generous in helping me with things I couldn’t do myself with computers and websites, which was greatly appreciated. He loved animals and was generous with gifts to the kids as well. He will be missed.

From Melissa (oldest daughter):

As I reflect on my father, Brad, it's evident that he was a man of strong principles and exacting standards. While he was strict and often reserved with his emotions, his actions spoke volumes about his deep care and commitment. He was not one to express his feelings openly, yet his readiness to help and support the people he cared for revealed the warmth he held within.

Throughout his life, I saw how he quietly stepped up for friends and family, whether through significant gestures or simple acts of kindness. This willingness to assist, often without a word, was his way of showing love and loyalty. I was honored to care for him in his final days, reciprocating the support he so generously extended to me and my partner over the years. Though his circle was small, his relationships were marked by a profound depth of feeling, each cherished deeply.

From Sam (2nd daughter):

Missing my Dad dearly and putting his strong character into a small summary is difficult. He has always done his best to be there to support me, his family, and friends through life’s ups and downs. I will always remember how he helped me excel in every sport I did. He was at every football, lacrosse, and rugby practice/game at least 30 minutes early teaching and helping me be proficient. That doesn’t even begin to describe what he did for me on the home front. Dad taught me how to be strong emotionally and physically. I’ll always remember his dedication and never decreasing strength to his core beliefs. He will be missed by many.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made in Brad’s memory to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Cancer Foundation. Your contributions will help continue the fight against the diseases Brad courageously battled.




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