Brad Hubbard remembered as humble, stubborn
At today's Celebrations of Life happily replacing much more sombre wakes and funerals as the preferred way to send off a deceased, it's customary to display photos and other artifacts that provide a sense of what the dearly departed stood for.
It was no different for the celebration Monday for Brad Hubbard, 59, which filled to overflowing the Drummond Building in Spencerville, his home and business base for the past 35 years.
There were photos and awards on view, along with a splashy red Ottawa Senators suit jacket which Brad wore proudly in support of his favourite hockey team. It's so flashy that bearded beefy Brad was sometimes asked if he was Don Cherry's brother.
But some artifacts close to Brad's heart were just too big to get into the hall. Actually, they could have been driven in... there's a door big enough. But the three vintage vehicles painted in trademark Hubbard & Co. green would have displaced too many at the standing-room only gathering.
"It looks like all of Spencerville turned up," one person commented, not to mention a lot of people from the surrounding area. Brad collapsed after suffering a massive heart attack at home May 7, leaving behind companion Brenda Ball, twin sons Kirk and Neil, two step-children, and four siblings.
The tasteful celebration in his honour included remarks by friend Jerry Glowka, an original musical tribute by stepson Kris Glendining, prayers and readings, all of it ably officiated by Richard Woodland who cited one piece of scripture that reminded him of Brad the disciple, shepherd and carpenter.
Much was rightly made of Brad's love of community and his passion for the craftsmanship of heritage architecture, furniture and vehicles. Known across Eastern Ontario and beyond, the Hubbard & Co. specialty was restoring historic stone buildings, from private homes to the lighthouse at Windmill Point which Brad took on twice, along with such contracts as replacing doors and windows in Ottawa's Aberdeen Pavilion.
Speaking with input from family members, Woodland described Brad as stubborn and humble, as very concerned about the greater community including such issues as rural school closings, as someone who felt that anything could be accomplished through perseverance. He was a self-starter who learned the tricks of the trade on the job.
The Bradford M. Hubbard Memorial Fund has been established to be administered by the Brockville and Area Community Foundation. As to the question of whether the company will go on, in all likelihood it will under the direction of family and senior staff.
One major Hubbard project waiting in the wings is restoration of the old Prescott Journal building on King Street and the connected town homes behind it. An emotional Sandra Lawn, Brad's partner in the project, insisted it'll go ahead.
Woodland discussed God's plan and why He would make the seemingly unfair move of taking away someone so skilled in his prime.
Maybe there's a little piece of Heaven that needs restoration work!