Brad Stapley Mourned by His Family, Loved by Thousands
ST. GEORGE, Utah – There is no doubt the Stapley family is loved in Southern Utah.
You could tell that just by going past Evan Stapley’s home in Washington City.
Signs, hearts, and balloons were placed in their front yard and on the house, as well as on the doors.
However, those messages of love weren’t just because the family is well liked in the community.
It’s because of the tragedy that has affected them.
“It’s amazed us how many people we’ve heard say he was my best friend,” said Evan Stapley.
He’s talking about his son, Brad Stapley.
And he was recalling the phone call he received Thursday that changed everything.
“When his friend gave me a call at 4:30 and said, ‘we’ve been caught in an avalanche and we can’t find Brad,’” said Stapley while sobbing.
Brad Stapley had been snowmobiling with friends on Circleville Mountain near the Piute-Beaver County line.
The avalanche he was buried in is among the largest slides search and rescue teams in the area have ever seen.
“Life really changed quick,” said Evan Stapley. “But there were a lot of people who went to the rescue to get him out.”
Stapley’s body was found the next day.
His wife, Jana, was at the search site.
“After seeing his body and finding him after being in the snow all night, the support of everyone has been so comforting,” said Jana Stapley through tears.
Jana Stapley is now wondering how to raise their six daughters without him, but she knew as soon as she came home from the search site that she wasn’t alone.
“Coming home to a neighborhood, all of my neighbors, someone had put yellow ribbons all over the posts in our neighborhood and all over my house. So my children would know and feel the love of everyone, too,” she said.
The Stapley family is best known for running Stapley Pharmacy, a handful of successful mom-and-pop type pharmacies in the St. George area.
Saturday, a painter was making sure the family knew Brad Stapley was appreciated by painting hearts and ‘I love you’ signs on the front window of one of the St. George locations.
41-year old Brad Stapley quietly donated to charitable and humanitarian causes in the community.
He also helped those who couldn’t afford their medication.
His friends and family say he never wanted any credit and recognition for all positive things he did.
He just wanted to make his community better.
“He was not a selfish person,” said his wife, Jana. “He shared everything. And things to him were only things. He was more worried about people. If anything were to happen to anyone, anything, he was always concerned about the person.”
The toughest part now is filling that void and moving on without him.
As more friends stopped by the family home to offer their condolences, the Stapley’s say the community support has meant more to them than words can describe.
“It means a lot. Because it shows how much Brad did for everyone,” said Jana Stapley.
Because of his stories and his friendships, there is no way he’ll be forgotten.
“He had an ability to make everybody feel like a friend,” said Evan Stapley. “We were blessed to have that young man be our son.”
A memorial fund website has been set up to help the Stapley family at https://www.gofundme.com/f/brad-stapleys-memorial-fund