Jordan Tsuruda had “the biggest heart,” a contagious laugh and a passion for spending time at his family’s property on Ruby Lake.
Every weekend possible, the teenager would head to the ferry after finishing class at Earl Marriott Secondary and bask at the Sunshine Coast property – helping with minor renovations to his godparents’ cabin, going wakeboarding or hitting the trails on his ATV.
“He’d just bolt over to the ferry. Jordan loved it over there,” Nathan Tsuruda, Jordan’s brother, said Monday, outside Morgan Elementary where the triplets attended.
Nathan and his sister, Savanna, last saw their brother on April 1, in English class at EMS, where the 17-year-olds attend Grade 12. Jordan died the next afternoon, while ATVing with family and friends in Roberts Creek.
An experienced rider – he got his first ATV at age four – Jordan was navigating a well-used forest service road when his vehicle hit a concrete barrier near a bridge and he was thrown approximately 30 feet down a ravine. Airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital, he did not survive his injuries.
While the loss has hit Jordan’s family and friends hard, they take comfort in knowing the kindhearted teen died in a place he considered his sanctuary, doing something he enjoyed immensely and surrounded by people he held close.
“He was doing what he loved to do,” said Nick Bergnach, Jordan’s godfather and one of the five people riding with Jordan that Saturday afternoon.
“(It was) just an accident.”
Asked to describe their brother – who, by mere minutes, was the youngest of the three – Nathan and Savanna had an array of adjectives at their fingertips Monday: loving, giving, smart and talented among them.
Jordan would do anything for anyone, and was good at everything he did, they said; whether it was playing goalie in his days with the Semiahmoo Ravens, or whipping up a classic pasta dish.
“He makes the best homemade mac and cheese I’ve ever had,” Savanna said.
And no matter what he did, Jordan went out of his way for those he cared about.
“At the cabin, he would keep me from doing anything stupid,” Nathan said. “He looked out for Savanna.”
“He worried about me a lot,” Savanna agreed.
Accepted to Douglas College, Jordan had talked about becoming an anesthesiologist, his sister said. Employed at Canadian Tire – “he was amazing at his job, everybody said so,” she said – he had been looking forward to an April 5 interview for a summer position with BC Hydro.
Adjusting to life without Jordan is “a day-by-day process,” the siblings said – but who Jordan was is playing a huge role in helping those who loved him get through.
Paul McMillan, a family member who considers Jordan his nephew, credited the teen’s innate bond with those around him; it hasn’t been weakened by his death, he said.
“He had a big heart. He connected with a lot of us. We feel like we’ve got a piece of him with us,” McMillan said.
“In this family, there’s so much love here, you just feel it all the time,” added Lily Bergnach, Jordan’s godmother. “That just represents Jordan. He had a huge, huge heart.”
In addition to his siblings, Jordan is survived by parents Karen and Ken.
Wednesday, a celebration of Jordan’s life is to get underway at 1 p.m. at South Surrey’s Victory Memorial Funeral Centre, 14831 28 Ave. McMillan predicted a standing-room-only turnout.
In lieu of flowers, donations benefiting BC Children’s Hospital – where the triplets spent the first two months of their lives – are suggested.