With sadness the family announces the death of Bradley Ekstrom, age 54, on Sunday April 21st 2019 in North Bay. He is survived by his loving wife Nicole Woolnough, son Ross and daughter Samantha from his first marriage to Kim, his mother Janette (née McKelvey) from Toronto, his brother Craig (Janet) from Cold Lake, and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. He is predeceased by his father Robert.
Brad was a big hearted, generous man who loved his family, spending time at the cottage, travelling, and had a passion for the outdoors especially anywhere near water. Brad wanted to make the world a better place. His independent and innovative spirit pushed him to figure out how to do things better and to achieve what others thought was impossible. He would give the shirt off his back to help someone in need, he believed in the best of people and would always give someone another chance. His quirky sense of fun and humour that included original sayings for every occasion will be greatly missed.
Born in Toronto, Brad found home in Hearst and on the Hearst Forest when he started working summers on treeplant while obtaining his Forestry diploma at Sir Sandford Fleming College. Inspired to pursue forestry as a career he became an Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry graduate from Lakehead University (1988), and was proud to be a licensed Registered Professional Forester. Brad spent his entire 31-year career in Hearst and always valued his “hands-in-the-dirt” experience. His dedication to the Hearst Forest and community were evident in the 22 years covered by forest management plans that he authored and his forestry awareness work with the Hearst Forest Local Citizens Committee. Co-owner of Thunderhouse Forest Services, a forestry consulting and contracting business for 25 years that to date has planted more than 101 million trees, Brad's real passions were hands-on silviculture, mentoring youth and bringing forest management to the public. Brad organized and supervised silviculture projects from Northwestern Ontario to Nova Scotia. Recently Brad joined the Workplace Safety North Advisory Committee, bringing knowledge of the silviculture sector to this arm of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Brad leaves behind some big forestry boots to fill.
Donations on Brad’s behalf can be made to the Town of Hearst - Hearst Community Curling Club (cheque to the Town with a specification the donation is for the curling club); the Hearst Cross-Country Ski & Snowshoe Club (send cheque to the club at P.O. Box 2687, Hearst, ON P0L 1N0); or the charity of your choice.