Saturday, December 14, 2013
Through the Veil: The Funeral of Brad Jay Galvez
My wife and I had the opportunity to attend the funeral for my friend and former legislative colleague Brad Jay Galvez today. The solemn services were held at the Wilson 2nd Ward building of the LDS Church in West Haven, Utah. Several hundred friends and family were in attendance.
Brad's son Joshua read the obituary which was then followed by his children sharing memories of their father. It was very touching. Representative Ryan Wilcox, County Commissioner Kerry GIbson, and family shared a special musical number. Brad's sister-in-law spoke as well as Representative Ken Ivory. The final speaker was Elder Lynn L. Summerhays from the fifth Quorum of the Seventy who had presided over the meeting.
I have to say of all the funerals that I have ever attended, this was one of the most inspirational and edifying I have ever seen. The spirit in the room was in accord with Brad's lifetime of service, faith, and devotion to his family.
Brad was serving as the Bishop for his ward at the time of his passing. He had been diagnosed in the last half of 2012 with untreatable kidney cancer and given three months to live by his doctors. Undeterred, he pursued a holistic health regiment that included strict dietary protocols and natural treatments for his condition. Miraculously, he lived over a year after his diagnosis and was able to spend that extra time with his wife and children. During that time, Brad was continually upbeat and eager to serve others.
There were many poignant quotes from the meeting. Here are just a couple:
"I never saw a stronger man than the frail and feeble Brad Galvez." - Ken Ivory
"The Galvez family has the faith to be healed, they also have the faith not to be healed." - Elder Summerhays
Elder Summerhays' remarks touched the heart. He mentioned that Brad's early passing opened doors of opportunity as Brad would continue to do the Lord's work beyond the veil. He also alluded to the rights of a father and husband Brad still has as a patriarch who is sealed to his family by covenant. He also talked about faith as the Galvez family prayed for a miracle to save Brad but ultimately accepted the Lord's will that now was Brad's time to depart. Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane acquiesced to his Father's will yet knowing the anguish of the Atonement would be nearly unbearable. (Luke 22:42) Likewise, the Lord has a plan for each of us and the Galvez family has shown they have embraced that plan, despite its untimely unpleasantness.
It was a privilege to serve with Brad in the Legislature and an honor to call him a friend. I am grateful for the experience of attending his funeral. It was a moving and inspiring memorial to Brad's life and a faith building personal experience to be there.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Brad's wife Lisa and his four children Joshua, Justin, Jenilyn, and Jordana during this time of mourning. I know that the Comforter will abide with them during this season of transition.