The Eulogy of Mr. Brad Fraser RIP

Wednesday 6th January 2010
Spoken by Master Bob White

I have been friends with the Fraser family for about 40 years. In the 1990`s Brent Fraser mentioned to me that he had a nephew that was interested in moving down to Southern California from Oregon. He told his nephew that he could come down with one condition; he had to take kenpo karate from me. Brent brought Brad down to our school in Costa Mesa and introduced Brad to our school. Brent financed Brad`s lessons and made sure that he had a combination of group lessons and private lessons with me. The pride and love that Brent felt, for Brad, was apparent to me and to Brad. Brad was blessed with outstanding athletic ability but even more important he was blessed with a kindness and compassionate spirit that made him easy to like. The opportunity to work with Brad on a one on one basis allowed us to get to know each other quickly. Brad’s passion for kenpo was evident in the way he trained. I always joked when Brad was working out nobody should plug in an electric appliance, because the floor was so wet with perspiration around him, somebody would get shocked. I called the area underneath him “Lake Fraser”. When Brad tested for his black belt we asked him to bring 2 uniform tops because the first one would weigh too much because of how hard he worked. Brad was a truly talented black belt He was exceptional. But even more important he was an exceptional person.

In the 1960`s I received my brown belt from Ed Parker. It is a tradition in Kenpo that you give your belts to students that you have a close relationship with. Out of literally tens of thousands of students I have taught, approximately 5 have worn my brown belt. Brad was the last one to do this. He returned the belt to me upon earning his black belt. The belt is very old and is falling apart but I know it meant a lot to him. I also know it meant a lot to me to have him wear it.

Brad did not always take everything I tried to give him. Being from Oregon, he was a loyal Portland Trail Blazer fan and I could not get him to wear a Los Angeles Lakers hat. Someone even put up a Trail Blazer poster up at our school and I have a suspicion who it might have been. I told Brad that there would be a full scale investigation but it did not seem to faze him very much.

I remember very well Brad coming to the studio and talking about a young lady in his life, Faith, and their new relationship. He was very excited and it was great to see the joy in his face when ever his talked about her. My wife and I were proud to attend their wedding. Faith had a very loving family and it was just so great to see the real joy of their marriage. Last year they were blessed with the birth of their son, Peyton.  

Throughout the years I had the opportunity to get to know Brad very well. There is a saying “Time either exposes, or promotes”. The more I got to know Brad the more I could see there was something very special about him. We traveled to Post Falls, Idaho, Telluride, Co., Las Vegas, Nv. Punta Chivato, Mx. and Dublin, Ireland. We had many talks about life and our walk with the Lord. Brad came to an Easter service at our church years ago and expressed to my wife, Barbara that he wanted to commit his life to Jesus Christ. I know Brad is in a better place and I also know he leaves many people who love him and will miss him.

My wife Barbara has prepared a memorial for Faith and Peyton with some pictures of Brad and some statements from some of his friends. I would like to read some of them to you.

1. Barbara White   When you think about Brad Fraser, you think about a man who truly loved Faith and his son, Peyton. He cared for others, Kenpo, and life.  He loved the Lord.  He put his family first. He was gentle and kind. He had a goodness about him that is rare to find.

Faith and Peyton, you were loved by an extraordinary man.  We miss him.   Barb White

2. Steve LaBounty "It was with great sadness that I learned of the untimely passing of Brad Fraser. I cannot forget his huge smile, his hearty and friendly handshake, and his great sense of humor when we first met. Over time, I learned more of his generous spirit, and his accumulation of merit and wisdom through his dedicated work. My sadness is increased by not having the opportunity to learn more about and from this good man, but I will remember how he made me and others feel when we were with him. I wish you a good journey my friend, and I wish great comfort and peace to your family...."

Stephen LaBounty 
Stephen LaBounty's American Kenpo
North San Juan,
California
USA

3. Eddie Downey When I first met Brad Fraser I was impressed with his passion for life and generosity of spirit. We instantly established a strong friendship and this relationship extended to my family and students in Ireland. Brad's smile was a beacon of joy that enriched our lives; his memory will continue to inspire happiness in those of us who were blessed to have known him. We
should celebrate the great times we shared with Brad and keep his wonderful smile in our mind's eye as we travel through our lives. 

Sincerely yours,
Eddie Downey.
Celbridge Kenpo Karate Academy - Ireland.

4. John Sepulveda "My memories of Brad will always be of a young man who greeted you with a big smile and always looked you in the eyes.  He was a martial arts warrior yet had a charm about him that always made you feel welcomed and like family. Brad was as genuine as you can get. What you saw is what you got, a generous and sincere family man with integrity. A true gentleman. Your spirit lives on".

John Sepulveda
American Kenpo Training System
Star, 
Idaho

5. Vishal Shukla    "From the moment Brad entered the studio it was obvious that he had great athletic ability. It quickly became apparent that his ability was nothing compared to his character, integrity and humility. Brad was a great martial artist but an even better person. He will certainly be missed but he will never be forgotten. Rest in peace my friend." Vishal

6. Karen Schuster   When I think of Brad and his character, the words that come to mind are kindness, loyalty, gentleman, dedication and perseverance.  The world has lost an incredible human being, but heaven has gained a wonderful soul.

Karen Schuster

7. Dr. Maret Kunze Brad was, to me, the consummate martial artist; compassionate, ethical, talented, aware, strong mentally and physically, a solid man.  He was willing to help, understand and engage.  His death is an inconceivable loss and my heartfelt prayers go to his family.

 In the world today there are many ways to communicate your thoughts immediately. As an example I looked on Brad’s Facebook and there were wonderful tributes written to him. There were pages and pages written about how much he was loved and the depths of his character.

The consistent theme of these tributes and the ones last night at the Vigil, is that Brad is loved and respected by many many people. He has made a difference and will continue to make a difference in the lives of others.

At our school we often quote John Wooden, the ex UCLA basketball coach. Coach Wooden is respected around the world for his wisdom and leadership. I would like to read a poem written by one of his former players, Sven Nader. I actually have had the opportunity to talk to this man before.    

Yonder

Once I was afraid of dying, 
Terrified of ever-lying, 
Petrified of leaving family, home and friends. 
Thoughts of absence from my dear ones, 
Drew a melancholy tear once, 
And a lonely, dreadful fear of when life ends.

But those days are long behind me; 
Fear of leaving does not bind me, 
And departure does not host a single care. 
Peace does comfort as I ponder, 
A reunion in the Yonder, 
With my dearest who are waiting over there.

Sven Nader

Brad Fraser was loved by those who knew him. Brad will be missed, and it is impossible to figure out what God`s plan could be for this to happen. There are so many things we just do not know. There are also things we do know; we know Brad Fraser touched many people by his example of being a good person, friend, relative, boss, husband, and father. We know we all feel a tremendous loss with Brad`s passing and I pray that we will see him again up Yonder.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my respect and love to my friend and student, Brad Fraser.