Former North Okanagan resident Brad Nelson (centre) died in a workplace accident in Alberta Aug. 4. His friends have taken up the cause to help renovate Nelson’s home basement

Former North Okanagan resident Brad Nelson (centre) died in a workplace accident in Alberta Aug. 4. His friends have taken up the cause to help renovate Nelson’s home basement

Project continues in memory of friend

Brad Nelson liked to keep busy.

Brad Nelson liked to keep busy.

The latest project for Nelson, a Fulton Secondary Class of 1996 graduate, was a home renovation upgrade, fixing the basement of the house in Redcliff, a community outside of Medicine Hat, he shared with his wife, Nicky, and three of their five children.

The basement, according to Nelson’s mom, Susan Entner of Vernon, was a dirt basement, one that flooded a couple of times and was in desperate need of finishing. Nelson had fixed half of it.

The project got put on hold when, just 28 days after he and Nicky married on July 7, Nelson, 33, a steelworker, fell to his death on Aug. 4 at a job site in Redcliff.

“He was helping build one of the biggest buildings in Redcliff and he was showing everyone pictures of the building at his wedding,” said Entner. “He was doing the roof and it was time to come down for lunch. We still don’t know if he got a dizzy spell or what the heck he did, but he unhooked like he’s supposed to do, went to get into the man lift and fell backwards.”

Entner said her son’s death has officially been ruled as an accident.

Nelson’s Alberta co-workers and friends have since taken up the cause to get the Nelson’s basement finished before winter comes.

They have been taking donations and people have come forward with product donations to help out Nicky, who lives at the home with her and Brad’s two kids, and Nicky’s daughter from a previous relationship who Brad helped raise.

Nelson had two kids from his first marriage, and they live with their mom in Lacombe, Alta. The kids range in age from two to 11.

“I can’t thank them enough,” said Entner of her son’s friends’ willingness to donate their time to making sure the family basement is renovated.

The lengths her son’s friends are going to help with the basement are a blessing for Entner and her family, as they cope with the loss of Brad.

Now a widow, Nicky is looking after the kids at the home. She told the Medicine Hat News that she “can’t believe the generosity and the amazing people who have come forward” to help with Brad’s dream of renovating the home.

“I said the craziest thing about her,” said Entner of her new daughter-in-law. “I said, ‘If anything happens, we’re keeping her.’ Now my son has passed away and we are keeping her. I didn’t quite realize how true those words would come.”

Nicky did not work outside the home, and a trust fund has been established to help with the renovation project.

Brad Nelson went to elementary school in Lavington and at Hillview Elementary in Vernon, and Len Wood Elementary in Armstrong before returning to Vernon to attend Fulton Secondary.

If anybody would like to make a donation in Nelson’s memory, they can do so at any TD-Canada Trust branch. The donation can be made care/of Nicole Nelson, children’s trust fund, Medicine Hat.

Anybody with any questions or who would like more information on the trust, can call Tyler at 403-502-6985, or Sean at 403-502-1255.