Bradley Ellsworth was what you would call outdoorsy.
He loved to hunt and fish, and he was happiest behind the handlebars of a snowmobile or a dirt bike.
And he knew his cars.
That particular trait even became somewhat of a running joke among friends, especially those that weren’t so vehicular-inclined.
“I’d bring up something about a car and he’d just laugh because he knew I had no idea what I was talking about and I knew I had no idea what I was talking about,” said Matt Colbourne.
The pair’s friendship led to Colbourne figuring out the answer to a question that had plagued him for years — what exactly a chassis was.
“I’d always ask him questions,” said Colbourne. “I learned so much from him.”
Tragically, Mr. Ellsworth died on Monday after a brave battle with cancer. He was just 21 years old.
Most of those years were spent in Corner Brook, playing hockey with guys like Colbourne and Greg Baldwin, a longtime friend he was especially close with.
Baldwin remembers Mr. Ellsworth as someone who emitted positive energy. The kind of guy who would be nice to everyone and talk to everyone, not just his circle of friends.
“He was a really, really good friend,” said Baldwin. “He was a really fun, loving guy to be around.”
Both Baldwin and Colbourne recalled days at the rink with Mr. Ellsworth, who they both described as an immensely skilled player who exuded leadership and class.
A few years ago, Colbourne and a few buddies, including Mr. Ellsworth, got together to form a juvenile hockey league for guys who had outgrown the minor hockey program, but still wanted the chance for a little friendly competition.
Colbourne had taken on the behind-the-scenes role of ensuring everything ran smoothly and usually found himself doing minor — but usually thankless — tasks like picking up pucks after practice, taking the nets on and off, and so on.
Mr. Ellsworth, said Colbourne, was always an absolute guarantee to help out.
“He’d be just going to get his water bottle on the bench, then he’d just start helping pick up pucks,” he said.
“Such a nice dude. He was selfless. Just an awesome fella.”
During games, Mr. Ellsworth could fill the net with the best of them, but also took pleasure in seeing his teammates get on the scoresheet.
“He was more of a playmaker than a goal scorer, but he could still score, too,” said Baldwin. “He was an exciting player to play with. An all-around type player.”
All three shared some classes together at Grenfell Campus, where Baldwin was pursuing a business degree.
He attended school until he physically couldn’t anymore. The cancer had progressed too far.
But Mr. Ellsworth wasn’t going to waste precious moments with family and friends by being down on himself or his situation, no matter how understandable that may have been.
“He just tried to stay strong for everyone,” said Baldwin.
The funeral for Mr. Ellsworth was held on Friday at St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church.