Montreal - Justin Andrew Brewster, 27, of Montreal, Quebec (formerly of East Lyme), died suddenly on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Montreal, Canada where he studied at McGill University.
Justin was a wonderful, understanding, caring and companionate young man and will be greatly missed by his family and those who knew him.
Justin was born in New Haven, Feb. 6, 1985, and grew up in East Lyme. He started playing hockey at age 6, beginning as a mite for Southeastern Connecticut Youth Hockey and he continued throughout his elementary and middle school years. Justin's beloved NHL team was the old Hartford Whalers, now the Carolina Hurricanes. Justin played hockey for Saint Bernard's High School in Uncasville, where he was also the top of his graduating class of 2003. Justin became a hockey referee for Southeastern CT Youth Hockey while a sophomore at St. Bernard's High School and continued to referee throughout high school. After high school, Justin attended McGill University in Montreal where he had a double major in microbiology and pharmacology and achieved a GPA of 3.98 and was 1st in his class. As part of his studies, Justin completed a summer internship in the pharmacology department of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. There was only one other student in the history of this laboratory who had done as well as Justin and he was offered a full scholarship at UNC to return and study for his PhD once he completed his undergraduate studies at McGill. With Justin's love of hockey, he initially played intermural hockey at McGill but quickly got involved in refereeing intermural hockey and became their primary referee, many times refereeing six back to back games in an evening, sometimes as the only referee on the ice.
Justin loved animals. He especially loved ferrets, but this love was preceded by an early love of rabbits and cats. The first pair of rabbits, Alex and Alexis, came hopping around the corner of the kitchen floor one Easter morning - they were initially thought to be wind-up toys, but then a magical moment came with the realization that they were real live bunnies! Through the years, love was provided for a second pair, Smokey and Cocoa as well as felines, chronologically, Tiger and Frisky, Joan and John and, abandoned loner, Angel. Tiger and Frisky were brothers with Tiger becoming a large teddy bear of sorts. Joan survived John to provide three offspring, Hewey, Dewey and Lewey. However, given them all, Angel was special. Justin absolutely adored her. Probably because of her being rescued and because of her small size and princess nature, a great bond was formed. Recalling a babysitter's ferret from a younger age, Justin gained a strong desire to have a pet ferret. After much cajoling, Justin was happily bestowed an albino ferret one Christmas morning, who was aptly named Casper. Casper brought much love within the family but none more than to Justin. Justin used to love, care and play with him for hours on end. As a testament to Justin's love for Casper, and ferrets in general, Justin went on to acquire three additional ferrets during the years spent in Montreal. Of these ferrets, one was named in honor of Casper with a slight twist: Jasper.
Justin was wonderfully kind and compassionate. He was a very special person with some rather unique abilities and insights and a sixth sense at times that only those people that really knew and understood him could recognize. It is unfortunate that tragedy has taken Justin from us and that he will no longer have the opportunity to earn his PhD and demonstrate his greatness to the world. He has finally gotten the much deserved peace that escaped him in his adult life.
Justin is survived by his father, Paul S. Brewster Sr. of Mashpee, Mass.; his mother, Brenda L. Boisvert of Groton; and four brothers, Brendan J. Brewster of Boston, Mass., Paul S. Brewster Jr. of Delmar, N.Y., Timothy A. Brewster of Needham, Mass. and Scott M. Brewster of Jewett City; and grandmother, N. Joan Flagg of Grimsby, Ontario. Also surviving are uncles and aunts, Roxanne and Cindy Boisvert-Newman of Brampton, Ontario, Michelle and Frank Arrowsmith of Beamsville, Ontario, James and Gail Brewster of Sharon Springs, N.Y., Simon and Joyce Brewster of Griswold; plus many loving first and second cousins.
Arrangements are being handled by Stonehouse-Whitcomb Funeral Home, 11 Mountain St., Grimsby, Ontario. There will be a visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 27, at the funeral home and a funeral service beginning at 11 a.m. Internment will take place at a later date.
A donation in lieu of flowers, may be made to Auberge Communautaire du Sud-Ouest, (a shelter for youth, men and women, between the ages of 18 and 29 who have faced problems such as poverty and social isolation). Contact: (514) 768-4774 or go to www.laubergecommunautaire.org
Published in The Day on Dec. 23, 2012