Reporter: Ryan Verrydt
At a time where he was growing and developing as a person, Bryan Garbutt’s life ended abruptly because of an undetectable brain condition he was likely born with.
The 20-year-old, second-year Durham College student died suddenly in his dorm-room on March 13 from hemorrhaging as a result of an aneurysm.
Bryan grew up on a farm in Dunsford, halfway between Bobcaygeon and Lindsay in a house which has been in the family for six generations. Family was very important to Bryan. He spent time at his grandparents’ house, just across the street, and worked at the family store in Lindsay during the summer. Bryan loved country life and animals.
A quiet person until he got to know someone, Bryan was really evolving in his time at Durham College. Always good with computers, analytical and probing for information, he asked his dad about mortgages after seeing a commercial at 5 years old. Bryan eventually enrolled in the computer programmer analyst program.
“Over the last few years, especially with college involved, he was developing so fully into a well-rounded adult,” said his dad, Jim Garbutt.
College was always important to Bryan. Bill Marlow was one of his professors and taught four classes to Bryan. He described him as an average, hard-working guy who was well-liked among his classmates.
Marlow said that during a group project, one of the members of Bryan’s group went AWOL near the deadline, leaving Bryan and his other group member all by themselves. Bryan didn’t complain or try to work the system, he just did the work.
It wasn’t just school Bryan was dedicated to. He met the woman he loved, Shawntea, two years ago and they were absolutely committed to each other.
His dad also credited Bryan’s outgoing roommate with helping his development. They would go to comedy nights and cook together in residence. Bryan had recently taken up cooking, inspired by his roommate, and as a result came what the family refers to as the “meatloaf emergency.”
“He was looking for a recipe and couldn’t reach his mom, so he phoned his grandfather to find out how to cook meatloaf,” said Garbutt.
When Garbutt and his family visited the college after learning of Bryan’s death, they saw the phrase “The places you will go” and found it to be a fitting tribute to Bryan and the potential he had in life.
Visitations for Bryan will be held at the Mackey Funeral Home in Lindsay March 25 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. with the funeral being held the next day at the Dunsford United Church starting at 1 p.m. There is also a page online at www.mackeys.ca where everyone is invited to share memories and thoughts.
“We’d like to emphasize that all are welcome,” said Garbutt. “We’d love to hear from anybody that has something to say about Bryan. As sad as Bryan’s passing is, our family wants people to know that he very much enjoyed his life and was very happy.”
Donations in Bryan’s name can also be made to the Humane Society of Kawartha Lakes.