When friends gathered Saturday at East Beach for a celebration of the life of Lindsay Brodie it was an informal occasion.
And that’s just the way the White Rock-raised woman would have wanted it, according to friends.
“We’re asking people to bring their guitars and Chuck Taylors (basketball shoes),” Shimona Henry, a friend and former classmate at Semiahmoo Secondary, said Friday.
Henry said Brodie’s many friends knew how special music and the beach were to the upbeat, always cheerful Brodie.
“She was so down to earth, so hilarious,” remembered Katie McEvoy, Brodie’s closest friend latterly. “She loved going down to the beach – that’s where she found a lot of peace.”
Brodie, 27 and her husband, Eric Lowerison, 33, were confirmed last week as the victims of an Aug. 12 collision on Highway 1 six kilometres north of Spence’s Bridge.
According to the BC Coroners’ Service, the couple were northbound on the TransCanada Highway when their vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with an SUV. Friends say they were likely on their way to a family cabin in Green Lake.
Cause of the crash continues to be investigated.
Brodie is survived by her mother, a White Rock resident; her father, who lives in Vancouver; and an older brother.
The families of both Brodie and Lowerison, who held a private service for them Monday, said those who want to remember the couple meaningfully – and in a way they would have approved – should do it by volunteering for local charities, such as foodbanks, homeless shelters and pet shelters.
Michael Ross, who worked with Brodie at Foto Source in Central Plaza before she moved to Vancouver seven years ago, said he is left with an impression of someone who could never be brought down by circumstances.
“She could always laugh at herself,” he said. “No matter whatever happened in her life, she always had a smile on her face.”
Henry’s mother and fellow photographer Eve Henry said she met Brodie first as one of her daughter’s school friends (they were in the Semiahmoo class of 2003).
“I had a house on Parker Street and all the kids would end up hanging out in the basement with Shimona,” she said. “Some of the kids would end up sitting on the couch upstairs talking to me, and Lindsay was one of them. We spent a lot of time together and we became pretty close.”
The Henrys both remember Brodie in her high school years as someone who delighted in the music and hippy ambience of the ’60s and ’70s.
They agree that while she did well enough in school, academics were not big in her life and she didn’t express major career ambitions. But after she moved to Vancouver, she found a job that really satisfied her working with seniors in a retirement home.
Family and friends noted she inherited the caring instincts of her grandmother, Muriel Brodie, who had been Dr. Al Hogg’s first nurse and, as a public health nurse, administered vaccinations to generations of local children.
“She was so caring, so kind,” said Shimona Henry of her friend, also remembering Lowerison as “a totally nice guy.”
“I was so happy for her when she met him.”
That was echoed by Eve Henry, who photographed the couple’s wedding three years ago, and McEvoy, a music producer and former Spirit of the Sea Festival organizer who was Brodie’s roomate from the time they both moved to Vancouver around 2005.
McEvoy, who continued to live with Brodie and Lowerison, recalled the couple met through friends and enjoyed a mutual love of music.
“Eric was a producer and music engineer who worked with me on shows and audio-visual production for shows – he was really, really involved with that community downtown,” she said. “And music was Lindsay’s soul, for sure.”
McEvoy said living with the couple was like being family.
“I spent five great Christmases with them, five great Easters,” she said.
It is Brodie’s simple, unassuming approach to life that Eve Henry will remember most, she said.
“Everybody wants the big fancy car, wants the label purse, wants the big fancy house. Lindsay didn’t want any of that stuff.
“ Everybody wants to be happy. She didn’t want to be happy – she was happy.”