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Connor Ramsay “loved every day of life”

The Bradford West Gwillimbury teen, an avid curler who just graduated high school, died Monday

Connor Ramsay was an outgoing man who was a friend to everyone he met.

He was an avid curler and was planning to study psychology at Ryerson University this fall, where he was going to try out for the curling team.

But the 18 year old from Bradford West Gwillimbury died early Monday morning after the car he was a passenger in hit a tree in Ansnorveldt, northwest of Newmarket.

The driver, a 17-year-old woman and good friend of Connor’s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

“Connor was an amazing, outgoing kid. He loved life,” said Jody Mott, a family friend speaking on behalf of Connor’s mom, Wendy.

“He strived hard to be what he wanted. He was just an all-around great kid. His dream from when he could talk was … to be a lawyer. He could talk the talk.”

Connor graduated this spring with honours from Bradford District High School, where he was a member of student council, with aspirations to one day become a lawyer, and then the prime minister.

Family was also very important to Connor, a single child.

“His mom was his world, and he was his mom’s world. They’re very, very tight,” Mott said. “His mom and his nana and his friends and his team were his world.”

Mott’s son, Evan, was one of Connor’s best friends. They curled together on Team Ramsay through the Bradford Curling Club, and they toured the province for games during the last six years.

“He was like a son to us as well. Evan had the honour of being his vice since they started the team seven years ago,” Mott said, adding Connor had been curling for about the past 10 years.

“My big memory of Connor was his big happy smile and his grin. It didn’t matter what he was doing, he always had a smile.”

His teammates will cherish those memories of playing with Connor and hold them in their hearts forever, she said.

Connor looked up to his coach, Peter Fudge, who always had a way of lifting the team’s spirits, she said.

In a post on its website, the Bradford Curling Club called Connor “not only one of its promising young curlers but also a future prominent member of the community.”

Connor was a well-known and very active member of the club, the post read, “who took time not only to improve and play the game he so loved, but also to pass along his skills to others.”

He always showed great sportsmanship, never minding if he a lost a game, said Mott.

“Connor was the type of kid if they had lost 15-2 … he’d say, ‘Ah, we lost. What’s for lunch?’” she said.

Connor was also a fan of Team Homan, the reigning world women’s curling champions, which tweeted its condolences and shared a photo of him at its 2017 Junior Camp.

The team is also starting a scholarship in Connor’s name for people to attend the camp, Mott said.

Connor’s first broom originally belonged to the late Sandra Schmirler, of the first women's curling team to win an Olympic gold medal.

“That was his very first broom, his very special broom. He always kept that in his bag for good luck,” said Mott.

After his death, social media was flooded with messages from curling organizations around Canada, the U.S., and even Ghana.

Ryerson Rams Curling has dedicated its 2018-2019 season to Connor’s memory and his “passion for the sport.”

“@RamsCurling mourns the loss of future RAM Connor Ramsay who’s life was taken so suddenly and tragically Monday morning,” it tweeted.

Curlers Team Cowan also plan to wear Connor’s initials on their jerseys for the 2018-2019 season, wrote Kathleen O'Neill on Facebook.

“They say only the good die young and you were truly one of the good ones! RIP Connor.”

Curling Canada tweeted its condolences to Connor’s family, calling him a “young and bright curler.”

“The junior curling community has lost a shining, bright, positive and gifted young man,” wrote Junior Slam Series on Facebook. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Connor had also recently attended Amethyst Junior Curling Camp, which shared a video of his time there:

On Twitter, curlers Team Thorne said Connor “exemplified all of what this game is about and will be missed on tour.”

The Grimsby Curling Club also tweeted its condolences, calling Connor a “positive and energetic U18 curler” its members know from a bonspiel last season.

“Connor was known for his friendships,” Mott said.

“He would meet people and be the life of the room. He made sure everybody was included and they had a good time. There’s no time he would walk in a room and he wouldn’t know everyone by the time he left.”

Connor also curled on a mixed team, was a former curler that went to OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) for Bradford District High School, and he excelled at all other sports, Mott said.

In the wake of his death, the high school is offering support to students and staff.

“These are hard and confusing times. The staff and students of BDHS are thinking of everyone,” it tweeted Tuesday. “Visit a walk in, call 310-COPE, talk to a parent, we are all in this together. Adults — this goes for you too.”

Connor’s family wants to thank everyone in the community for their condolences, as well as a very kind man who was at the scene of the crash, who has met with the family.

“Connor made his impression in this world. He’s being remembered for who he is,” said Mott. “He was just Connor. His favourite words were, ‘I got this. Don’t worry. I got this.’ He just loved every day of life.”

He is survived by his mother, Wendy, grandmother, Mary, aunts Donna, Sarah, Bianca and Barbara, uncles Ed, John, Phil and Alan, and a large network of cousins and friends around the province.

Jenni Dunning

About the Author: Jenni Dunning

Jenni Dunning is a community editor and reporter who covers news in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury.
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