LODGE, Evan Thomas – May 27, 2008 – January 31, 2021
LODGE, Amanda Marie – April 29, 2010 – February 5, 2021
The afternoon of Sunday, January 31st, 2021 was spent by the Lodge kids like many other days; enjoying the outdoors together. They went to Pinehurst Conservation area for an afternoon of fun including cross country skiing on a beautiful forest trail, skating on the frozen lake, sledding and enjoying hot chocolate and cookies. Evan and Amanda, who were faster on their skiis than Alyssa, stopped occasionally to draw happy faces in the snow with their ski poles in hopes of brightening the day of anyone else that came along the trail. At one point they came across a steep hill and when told they weren’t allowed to ski down, Amanda decided to take off her skiis, run down the hill part way and then launch herself forward, sliding the rest of the way down on her belly. Evan preferred to sit and enjoy the view from the lookout. Later, while skating, they decided to recreate the “Among Us” computer game on their skates, taking turns being the imposter and chasing each other around on the ice. At the end of the afternoon, they did several sledding runs. For the last run, they decided to all pile on top of each other with Evan, the oldest, on the bottom, then Amanda and Alyssa, the youngest, hanging on for dear life at the top of the pile while they went whizzing down the hill, laughing the whole way. This is the way they would hope to be remembered; beautiful, happy, active children. The fun and laughter came to a tragic end on the drive home. Their van was hit by a vehicle that ran through a stop sign. A second later, a vehicle coming in the opposite direction also slammed into the vehicle. The accident took the lives of our beloved children Evan (on the day of the accident) and Amanda (a few days later in hospital). (Alyssa and Susan (mom, driving) survived with relatively minor injuries. Gregson (dad) was at home at the time.) Both Evan and Amanda had very diverse interests and there were a large number of these interests that they shared. Their athleticism was one thing they had in common. Evan played soccer and baseball in the summers. Amanda did gymnastics and enjoyed dance. They loved swimming, indoors and out. They were both excellent runners. In the summers they enjoyed hiking, kayaking, and bike riding. Their love of the outdoors was something else they had in common. There were many fun family camping trips and they spent lots of time playing in the trees and having fun outside of their home. Both were very musical. They were both progressing very well with their piano playing. They had also learned to play recorder and some basic chords on the ukulele. Amanda had recently gotten into musical theatre, participating in Royal City Musical Productions Inc. production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ shortly before the lockdown last year. Both were very creative, although this was expressed in different ways. Evan enjoyed building Lego, creating with origami and building worlds within Minecraft. Amanda enjoyed painting, creating plays and dances, and organizing activities and games for her friends and siblings. They both enjoyed playing board and card games, playing hide and seek and reading (especially Harry Potter). Both had a great sense of adventure. Two summers ago, when they had just turned 9 and 11, they rode all of the biggest, fastest roller coasters at Canada’s Wonderland and loved the thrill! Evan had some unique interests as well. He excelled at math and was interested in computer coding, learning the basics of the Python programming language. Evan had recently gotten good at quickly spotting the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter with the family’s simple telescope. Some of the quiet things he enjoyed doing were playing chess, solving logic puzzles and above all, building things. He was interested to know how things worked and enjoyed tinkering with his Lego Robotics kit and flying his drone and helicopter. He was curious about many things and took an interest in the family’s solar panels and electric car. We imagined that he would become an engineer one day, using his curiosity and mathematical brain to solve all kinds of challenges. Evan also had a love of trains; both model trains and watching and riding the real ones. He was an animal lover, and loved spending time with his cats; Melody and Harmony. Amanda, was at roughly the same stage of development as Evan. Just beginning the transition from child to young adult. She still played dolls with her sister and giggled herself silly with Evan, but she also had plans for the future such as babysitting and becoming a lifeguard. She had the motivation and drive to excel at so many of the things she tried such as swimming, gymnastics, running and climbing. She seemed to have no fear of trying something new and then pushing herself to the limit. She was usually the one who lead the way up the tree or envisioned the ‘parcour’ style obstacle course across the playground. But activity was definitely not her only strength. She was always interested in fine art, theatre, photography and music. She loved decorating for and celebrating holidays and planning parties and events. She seemed to have endless creativity and loved leading others through the various activities that she had envisioned and brought to life. Evan and Amanda loved spending time with their Grandma (Lynn Lodge née Warmington) and their Grosi (Ella Bubenik née Breiter), both in Guelph. There were always places to be explored, treats to be eaten, and games to be played at their homes. They also loved being with their cousins; Quinlan, Amy and Joanna Schmidt of Sarnia (children of Gregson’s sister Valerie and Steve), Mira and Alex Bubenik of Gainesville, Florida (children of Susan’s brother Peter and Jodi) and Eric, Markus and Daniel Fagan of Waterloo (children of Susan’s sister Helen and Matt). Over the years there have been so many adventures with the cousins, as well as fun times spent at home and in their homes. And most importantly, Evan and Amanda were such wonderful friends and role models to their little sister Alyssa. There was always a game or an adventure on the go that they started and Alyssa, as the youngest, worked hard to keep up. She is the kind, creative, intelligent, curious, strong and giving person that she is, thanks in part to their influence on her. Words can not express the loss felt by their mom Susan (née Bubenik) and dad Gregson who will miss not only them as individuals, but the noisy, busy, active family they once had. There are also so many others in the community that will miss their smiles and presence; among them are Taylor Evans Public School, 27th Guelph Scouts and First Baptist Church Guelph. The family would like to thank the many people who have helped and supported them since the day of their loss. Thank you to those who helped at the scene of the accident and afterwards at Cambridge Memorial and McMaster Children’s hospitals and particularly the team that helped to make possible the transplant of several of Amanda’s organs. Thank you to those who helped organize tributes and helped with the funeral. And most importantly, thank you to the family members, friends and community members who have helped to support Gregson, Susan, Alyssa and the many others who have been devastated by this loss. The many photos, messages and even the shoes hung from the trees in our neighbourhood in remembrance of our kids are a reminder of how many are grieving and offering their support. If anyone would like to make a donation, please consider: – JDRF Canada– Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, in memory of Amanda, who although having type 1 diabetes, never let it slow her down – Guelph Historical Railway Association, in memory of Evan, who was always on the lookout for a passing train Arrangements entrusted to the Wall-Custance Funeral Home & Chapel. We were so blessed to have them in our lives and we will miss them forevermore.