#1 of 2 items
Bradley Douglas Symmonds, age 20, of Austin, died Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2004, in Austin.
Brad was born Nov. 23, 1983, in Ames, Iowa, to Douglas and Kelly (Smith) Symmonds.
He worked for A-Best Janitorial Service.
Bradley attended Austin High School, loved disc golfing, the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He was a loving brother and son who loved his dog, Stormy.
Survivors include his parents: Doug Symmonds, Austin; Kelly (Dave) Nystel, Austin; sister: Ellyn Symmonds, Austin; two brothers: Patrick Symmonds, Austin; Bryan Symmonds, Austin; grandparents: Joan Smith, Davenport, Iowa; Ronald (Wanda) Symmonds, Wilton, Iowa; many aunts and uncles.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2004, at the Church of St. Augustine with Father Joe Fogal officiating. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday at Mayer Funeral Home. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
The casket bearers will be Jason Stevens, Matt Fisher, Jason Linnette, John Krones, Eli Carranza and Kyle Linnette.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to the Bradley Symmonds Memorial.
#2 of 2
Rochester Post Bulletin [ circa Sept. 2005]
By Roxana Orellana
A year ago today, Kelly Nystel said good-bye to her 20-year-old son as he left to check out the rising streams and rivers created by torrential rains the night before.
"I knew he was heading toward the water because every time it flooded, he did that," Nystel said remembering that she advised her son to stay away from the water. "He was fascinated by natural disasters. He talked about being a meteorologist, a storm chaser."
Bradley Symmonds had walked to his mother's house in the 400 block of 15th Avenue Northeast before going to work that day at Hormel Foods Corp. Roads had been closed because of flooding.
He dropped off his keys and wallet and put on some shorts before walking out his mother's door.
"He told me he loved me, and that's the last time I saw him," Nystel said Wednesday, wiping away tears.
Symmonds drowned Sept. 15 after being swept away in the current of the Cedar River.
Austin police received a call from a bystander who saw a man in the Mill Pond. Police tried to save him but current was too strong.
Symmonds body was found the next day near a bridge by Riverside Arena.
"It's hard to believe it's been a year," Nystel said.
Don't want to believe it
The day her son died, Nystel had stayed home from work because roads had been closed. That evening she watched footage taken by the local television station of the man being swept in the water.
"At that time, I didn't know it was him," Nystel said. "I kept thinking 'Oh! That poor kid.' Not ever thinking that it could be my son because I thought he was working."
It wasn't until the next day that she called her ex-husband, asking him if Symmonds had come home.
Nystel and her younger son went to the TV station and watched the video again, and determined it was her son.
"You want to be in denial. You don't want to believe it," she said.
A bad dream
Family, friends and the community continue to show support for the Nystels .
"It's overwhelming. They have been wonderful," Nystel said of the community. Often people will walk up and give Nystel condolences.
Nystel said her son would have been overwhelmed by what people have done for "little old him."
"He would have been taken back by all this," she said.
The Nystels have lived in Austin for 20 years. Symmonds was the oldest of four children, a girl and three boys.
Pictures of him and his siblings adorn the family's living room. His mother described him as an outgoing kid, shy but with a lot of friends.
"He was a big disc golfer. He was really good at it," Nystel said. Almost daily, Symmonds would make a trip to the park for a game of disc golf before heading to work.
"He loved the Vikings and the Timberwolves. But disc hockey was his passion," Nystel said.
Not having her brother around has been tough for Ellyn Symmonds, 19. The recent high school graduate said she had a tough year trying to make sense of the loss.
"It feels like I'm in a bad dream and I won't wake up," she said Wednesday with an emotion-choked voice.
The loss has brought the family closer. Nystel said there is not a day when her children leave the house without saying I love you.
"I do believe he is in a better place and that has helped me get through," Nystel said. "My mom keeps telling me that God has a bigger plan for him. I have to believe that."
Now that she is over "the first of everything" Nystel hopes it will help her continue to heal.
And so just like she has done in the past 12 months, Nystel will continue to go out for walks on her usual route. She will visit her son's grave, continue through the Mill Pond and stand on the bridge, above the spot where her son was found.
"It's sad. I am dreading it," Nystel said of the anniversary of her son's death. "But you know, life has to go on. You have to try and just think of the good things and memories that you have."