Life Sketch\n\nBradley Alan Collins, who insisted on being early for everything, was taken from the earth and sent to Heaven way too soon. His wife always told him that there were things you should never be early for, like parties or helping people move, but we are adding his departure from this life to the top of the list.\n\nBrad was born in Westlake Village, California on 20 June 1984. As an adult, he disavowed his birth state, always annoyed when a new influx of Californians arrived in Utah. When he saw the tell-tale license plate, he would shout, “Go home, California!” He fought as a baby to stay alive, and his mother dedicated his life to the Lord like Hannah when he remained in the hospital. Fighting became part of his nature, and he took great pride in ensuring his alpha-child status by teasing and wrestling with his siblings Phil, Ryan, Brenda, and Preston. He eventually took this competitive spirit and applied it to healthier pursuits. He became an avid scouter and a sports enthusiast, playing any team sport with annoying agility and natural talent. His antics with his siblings from his childhood have become legendary.\n\nBrad’s teenage years were spent in Carnation, Washington, east of Seattle. Like most teenagers, his interests were diverse: kissing girls, playing football as a tight end for Mount Si High, teaching himself to play the guitar, earning his Eagle Scout award, and then earning an additional 30 merit badges to receive three palms: gold, bronze, silver (like a nerd). He was involved in pottery, church musical productions, shooting, car repair, working at Blake’s Pizzeria, and learning and teaching the gospel.\n\n Forgoing all his other interests, Brad dedicated two years of his life to serving as a preaching missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Barcelona, Venezuela, from 2003 to 2005. Brad’s mission was hard but rewarding. He became devoted to scripture study and to His Savior, all while traveling through the jungle and eating delicious empanadas and arepas. He returned home early due to civil unrest, but never lost his love for serving the Lord, the Venezuelan people, his chamos, and for drinking Malta Polar, a drink considered by some to taste of Satan’s armpits.\n\nHis early return led to a chance meeting at the Riverside Theater in Provo, Utah, with the girl who would become his wife, serendipitously arranged by his sweet cousin Jana and her neighbor at BYU. Mutual teasing, (mostly) friendly competition, and a desire to do what was right were cornerstones for their relationship. He was incredibly smart and analytical, but had lost confidence in his ability to acquire an advanced education. He attended BYU-Idaho filled with doubts about his chosen field of Mechanical Engineering, but he decided to try it out for a year before dropping out. \n\nHis time in Rexburg was spent with a bit of studying and lots of free time with the members of his all-male apartment complex. The over-abundance of testosterone in the atmosphere led to strange activities including riding down the stairs in kayaks that were attached by ropes to moving cars, shooting mannequin heads full of ketchup in the desert, and building forty-foot bonfires. He ate bacon and pot-stickers for every meal and sold plasma to make money. \n\nDuring this time, he and Erin spoke to each other for hours every night and met up each weekend to make out (a recreation he had resumed in full force after his mission) and tour Home Depot to make plans for their future home. His time spent dating girls in high school had prepared him to be a respectful and protective companion. He courted her with dinners, played and sang “Hey There, Delilah” to her on the guitar, and took her on adventurous activities. It was the first time she’d really been known by someone and the first time anyone had known his true heart, and so, of course, they chose to be married forever in the Salt Lake Temple on May 5, 2006. They spent an idyllic honeymoon summer living on 47th Street in Chicago, where they developed as partners, made plans for the future, and fell in love with the Chicago White Sox.\n\nUsing the University of Utah Shooting Team as an enticement, Erin persuaded him to move to Utah, where he became a hardcore member of the MUSS (the Mighty Utah Student Section). Like every other thing he had tried to do, he had a natural talent for competitive pistol shooting that was honed by his revered coaches Matt and Woody, who treated Erin and Brad like family. He loved to lose himself in marksmanship shooting - taking home many awards and even trying out for the London Olympics in 2012. The skills he developed in training for competitions helped him throughout his life - learning to meditate and focus so deeply that he could slow his own heart rate to under 40 beats-per-minute led to excellent test taking skills. Learning to work hard to reach the next level led to incredible achievements in his education, in his physical strength, his ability to solve problems, and his ability to be patient with a new female roommate that he happened to be married to. This troublesome roommate insisted that he upgrade his diet, start exercising, and come home with straight A’s, which he did in almost every class. \n\nAs strong as Brad was physically, his spirit was even bigger. He spent most of his adult years in church leadership callings that were often demanding of his time and especially of his muscles. As he was always the first to arrive on moving day, he Tetris-ed hundreds of U-Haul trucks and was the always first-up for lifting the heavy furniture that always had to be loaded first. He served in the Young Mens as a president three times and as an advisor several times, as a teacher for Primary children before and after his mission, as a Sunday School teacher and president, as a secretary, counselor, and president of the Elder’s Quorum, a Ward Clerk twice, as a counselor in the Bishopric twice, a high counselor in the Stake, and once in his least favorite calling: Ward Mission Leader. He set up thousands of tables, millions of chairs, and is the only man we know who can roll two circular tables down the hall at one time. His service included entertaining kids at church during sacrament meeting. One special girl came to sit by him every Sunday so he could tickle her arms until she fell asleep; he held crying babies, often had a toddler on his strong, broad shoulders, and even on occasion carried injured young men off the field. He was never a leader who sat on the sidelines, playing every game with the youth - especially his favorite - flour dodge ball. He participated in every ward and stake activity and was the first to volunteer for everything. Brad was passionate about the youth around him. He had always wanted to be “that cool guy in the neighborhood that the teenagers can open up to,” a goal we can all view as accomplished.\n\nHe had so many people that he was nurtured by through his church service. A young convert in Chicago, Antony, who spoke the sacrament prayers with a unique cadence, inspired Brad to slow down when offering the prayer himself. The world’s best bishop Raimund Georg Goeckeritz was idolized by the young couple, especially Brad who counted him as one of his closest friends. He trusted them with difficult tasks in the ward, showed everyone how to be strong and tender, and used his deep German voice to encourage, cheer, and nudge the members of his congregation, turning weak instruments into strong vessels. When he died in 2014, he left a huge whole in the world, ten times his small stature, but he left Brad a better man. He always said he wished he could die doing what he loved the most - riding snowmobiles with Bishop, who, with terminal cancer and a daredevil nature, was possibly not the best person to trust with your life, but was definitely the most fun. Brad made so many forever friendships in the Winder 16th and Winder 11th Wards, and grew in his ability to lead and purely love because of them.\n\nBrad and Erin struggled and fought with infertility for the duration of their fifteen-year marriage. While they waited for children, they made the most of their time together. Brad attained a Mechanical Engineering degree, falling in with an amazing friend group that spoke his same nerdy language. Then, encouraged and pushed by his wife, the boy who thought he would never graduate from college went on to earn a double masters - a Masters in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on heat transfer and a Masters of Business Administration, which cultivated characteristics deemed by Brad and other engineers as “soft skills”: such as playing nice with others, sharing, and communicating in words not just numbers. He became an agile technical writer and someone who was counted on by everyone to navigate difficult situations with the right words.\n\nBrad started working at Rio Tinto - Kennecott in 2010. He served in almost each facility along the Oqquirh Mountains: the Molybdenum Autoclave Plany - now deceased - the Concentrator, the Smelter, Tailings, South Area Water, the Power Plant, the Regional Center, and the Distribution Center. He also served in several different positions - most recent of which was as an asset integrity project manager for the structural maintenance of tanks and pipes and as a lead document controller. (If you have any difficulty understanding what that means, there is a support group that meets weekly.) At Rio, he blossomed as a leader, a sounding wall, a coach, and rabble-rouser. He was once accused by a co-worker of being “over-confident to a fault,” a redundant but very fitting title that he was incredibly proud of. He was not afraid to challenge anyone he didn’t agree with - most of the time as a method of seeing the problem from a different perspective, but also because he found it very enjoyable. His love for debate was despised by his wife but was a real asset at work, earning him respect for being a straight-shooter. He was known to be a passionate advocate for doing things the right way - which was really code for “Brad’s Way” - so much so that he wrote many standard manuals for Rio, that were actually just instructions for he would do things. He was also a mentor at work - encouraging and teaching employees and bosses. \n\nBrad and Erin were blessed to buy a home in Murray, Utah in 2014, shortly after the loss of a 5 month pregnancy with their daughter Zell Marie, an angel baby he now finally gets to hold again. Murray brought so much healing. Their home that had been planned over thousands of Home Depot dates is the greatest testament to Brad’s skill. Not a square inch of the Collins’ home (inside, outside, on top, in the walls, and underground) wasn’t improved by him. He put up with his wife who became his project manager, OSHA enforcer, and quality assurance technician. She, unlike his work managers, was banned from last minute change orders, even if really great Pinterest ideas had just been discovered, and was reminded that a project can either come in on time or on budget, but not both. \n\nThe main thing the home improvement projects provided was a way to bond with others. Brad knew how connected he felt when he helped with other people’s projects and had discovered that inviting them to work on his was both a method of getting to know someone and share with them the skills he had learned. It was not abnormal to be invited to help on projects at the Collins’ house. He hosted an ambitious young men’s group who demo’ed the old wooden deck in the backyard which taught them to use sledgehammers without injuring themselves - an activity that resulted in lots of triumphant teenage hollering and only one tetanus shot. He invited men over who came with soft hands that had never held a power tool, and they left with the knowledge of how to use a jackhammer, sore muscles, and blisters. Even when he worked by himself, he made friends with passers-by and neighbors who often stopped to talk. He was never frustrated about the delay or lack of progress because being out there and making friends was fulfilling enough.\n\nBrad learned that inviting others to help him complete a goal didn’t have to be limited to home improvement projects. He became an avid reader when he discovered a love for motivational books - some of these books have been instituted as mandated reads at Kennecott. He listened to hundreds of audiobooks and preached the truth he found in them to anyone that would listen. \n\nBrad became interested in getting fit and teamed up with friends to try to lose weight and get in shape. He started weight loss challenges with his friends (If you haven’t been texting your weight to Brad weekly, you’ve never had a real weight loss mentor), He started biking to trax everyday (partly to save up money for a new car, partly for the exercise, and partly because people were impressed). Brad woke up at 5 am everyday but Sunday to run in all the weather conditions - taking great joy in appearing as “Local Legend” on certain Strava routes. He joined a gym where he took a spin class, and he began exploring beautiful Utah with a group of spry men in our Stake named The Mountain Goats. He grew close to so many this way, and as he became more fit, he became interested in summiting all the major mountain peaks in Utah. He summited:\n\nPioneer Peak\nSunset Peak\nMt Tuscarora\nMt Wolverine\nPatsy Marley\nKings Peak\nGrandeur Peak\nMt Olympus \nBroads Fork Twin Peaks\nCardiff Peak\nMonte Cristo \nMt Superior\nSouth Thunder\nChipman Peak\nUPWOP Peak\nPfeifferhorn\nLone Peak\nGobblers Knob\nMt Raymond\nSugar Loaf\nDevils Castle\n\nHe felt free and exhilarated from these experiences, bonding him forever with his sweet friends who encouraged him to fight his way up the mountain. \n\nBrad’s greatest achievements however came in the form of sweet, spicy babies in 2016 and 2019 with the petri-dish twins: Kit Bradley and Stella Opal. They were their father’s favorite thing he ever created. He had big plans for them, big fears for their futures, and huge expectations for himself as their father. Missing time with them is his greatest regret. Super Great Daddy nights, a weekly occurrence to preserve what was left of Erin’s mental health, have become sacred memories. Hiking with Kit to the top of Mount Olympus, teaching Stella how to fill the wheelbarrow with rocks, and taking the kids to every dinosaur museum in the Utah Dinosaur Diamond were some of his favorite memories. Kit loved going to Momentum with him to climb, and Stella loved going to the church gym to ride scooters and play basketball. He was in his second season as a proud coach for the San Francisco Giants and the LA Dodgers - T Ball division - and was admired for his encouraging nature and tolerance of his own six year-old son, whose goal was to win all the points.\n\nAt the age of 38, Bradley Alan Collins, White Sox devotee, dyed-red Utah fan, best friend, Forever Son of Alan and Julie Collins, Forever Husband of Erin, and Forever Father of Zell, Kit-Boy, and Stella Bella, was killed instantly as he biked to work when a truck crossed against a red light. He lived a life larger than his own stature which has left a hole that feels too big to fill. He is irreplaceable. But we believe that this life without him can only be tolerated if there is eternity with him in the next. Brad’s wishes would be that never park our cart in the middle of an aisle, never shop at Costco on a Saturday, and take pride in obeying traffic laws, but most importantly, he would want us to live large, love big, work hard, and trust God.\n\nAs his wife, roommate, and project manager, I can tell that he wasn’t perfect. Yet Brad’s life was full of light. I have been honored to be the recipient of an incredible outpouring of blessings that have taken many forms since his passing. I hope in return you have felt and will recognize the light in your life that came because of the love you showed our family. The light and warmth you feel is the same power that allows us to change and to forgive, to do hard things, and to sense a need in someone else. It is the same power that enables us to recognize truth. You may feel extra light here today, but that same light is available to any of us at anytime according to how much we seek it, and I bear my witness of this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.