Parents come to BYU to share memories of son NewsNet Staff Writer - 1 Nov 2000
Courtesy photo BYU student McKell Brockbank
By Meghan Riding
Parents of McKell Brockbank, a BYU sophomore who died Oct. 28 on the Oregon Coast, spoke with friends and faculty Wednesday, Nov. 1, about their son.
"We felt a desire and a need to come back here to hear that he was as important to others as he was to us," said Nancy Brockbank, mother of McKell.
McKell was spiritually strong and BYU's environment supported that, Mrs. Brockbank said.
McKell, 24, from Ann Arbor, Mich., majoring in theater and media arts, was swept off a jetty by a wave during a storm.
McKell and his cousin, John Woodard, 23, a senior from Melissa, Texas, majoring in philosophy, were both carried away by the wave.
Woodard swam ashore but McKell was not found.
During the service, Wayne Brockbank, McKell's father, said because of his faith, he has peace with the loss of his son.
"It doesn't matter how long life is--but the quality of life," Mr. Brockbank said. "And McKell had a good life."
Coby Carroll, 23, a senior from La Grande, Ore., majoring in theater and media arts, said McKell was well known in the film program.
McKell wanted to be a director and was working with the top film students in the program, Carroll said.
"McKell seemed like he was really going to make it," Carroll said. "He was bright, everybody loved him - he was that cool. He always brightened your day."
Tressa Lyn, 23, a senior from Ashton, Idaho, majoring in theater and media arts, worked with McKell on several projects this semester.
McKell was well rounded and knew everybody, Lyn said.
"He was so helpful with everything," Lyn said. "He was full of life and was very positive. He never gave a generic compliment."
McKell loved the challenges that life threw at him, Lyn said.
"His favorite phrase was 'bring it on'," she said.
Carolyn Hanson of the theatre and media arts department, said Mckell was one of the most engaged and engaging people she knew.
Nancy Bliss of the theatre and media arts department said McKell was always willing to help.
"He was one of the most adorable people I've met," Bliss said. "He was always willing to do whatever needed to be done and more."
McKell's family will have a gathering Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich., for friends and family. A memorial service open to the public will be held Saturday.
Friends of McKell will hold an open house Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Wilkinson Student Center to make a memorial video for the family.