Skip to content

Remembering Taylor

Taylor Theresa Brundige was a 15-year-old Notre Dame High School student who was thoughtful, smart and wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up. Her life was cut short on Nov.
Photo supplied

Taylor Theresa Brundige was a 15-year-old Notre Dame High School student who was thoughtful, smart and wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up. Her life was cut short on Nov. 27 when she was on her way home from a party with her sister Leslie, who was the designated driver. After dropping off a few other kids who didn't have a ride and heading home, they collided with another vehicle, whose driver had allegedly been drinking. Leslie was relatively unharmed. Both girls were wearing their seatbelts.

"She was the rock to family and friends," said her mother Tammy Brundige, explaining how Taylor always helped at home, on the family's farm and with her younger brother.

Taylor was on the honour roll at school every semester except for one where she was only a point away. When asked what Taylor's favourite subject was, Tammy laughs and says, "All of them."

She loved English, science, social studies and math because it was challenging. Taylor was musical too; she played drums, guitar and piano, and sang soprano in the church choir.

Tammy says Taylor's teachers told her that she "never left a classroom without wishing them a good day or thanking them because that was important."

Taylor's grandmother, Linda Brundige, recalls her helping out at her strawberry patch, dumping wheelbarrows that were "as big as she was."

She says Taylor used to always pick out the best pickles. "She was my pickle girl...she used to love pickles."

Taylor worked at her strawberry patch in the summers, and had got a job in town at the bowling alley for the first time in September.

"She was such a sweetheart," says Linda.

Family and friends said goodbye to Taylor at her funeral service Dec. 1, attended by over 700 people. Her friends left her notes, jewelry and friendship necklaces to go in her urn.

Her best friend Jessica McGrath left a Rice Krispie square since Taylor apparently used to always take hers. "She wanted to make sure she gave her a last Rice Krispie square," explains Tammy.

Taylor was adored by her friends, says Tammy, who have been telling her what a great friend she was.

"'No matter what, Taylor was always there to listen to us with our problems and be there for us,'" she says they told her.

"That's what they're going to miss."

Tammy is grateful for all the community support and donations made to Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD). The Great Canadian Wholesale Club donated a tree to Bonnyville Centralized High School where people can buy purple ribbons to show their support. Purple was Taylor's favourite colour.

"There's nothing, anything but good to say about Taylor," said her aunt Helen Brundige. "She was always good with the smaller grandchildren in the family."

Helen said she was funny, smart and witty.

"When her uncles or older boy cousins were teasing her, she always got the last word in."

She says her husband, Russell Brundige, said whenever he teased her about being short, she would always tell him "good things come in small packages."

Another one of Taylor's aunts, Kathy Cote, recalls how helpful she was at her nine-year-old son Corbin's birthday party in October.

Taylor came to the pool party but had no intention of swimming, didn't bring a bathing suit, and didn't want to use a second-hand one. But in the end, she ended up using one just to go in the pool to help her aunt with the children.

"She'd bend over backwards to help you out," says Cote.

She says her 11-year-old daughters Kelsea and Kyla told her that every time they were upset, Taylor would be the first one to try and cheer them up.

Taylor's mother says the community has been very supportive and the police have been "phenomenal."

"Her smile is what lit the room," Tammy says people have been telling her.

"She was always smiling. She's a good kid. There was never a worry about either of my girls going out to a party together, because they were together. They watched each other and they were always the designated drivers."

Tammy says the family will continue Taylor's involvement in prom and graduation through the Student Union as her sister will graduate this year.

"It's not about getting normal it's about creating a new focus, and continuing what Taylor wanted."

Investigators believe a 2010 GMC truck travelling south on Higway 41 collided with a northbound 1996 Mercury four-door car Nov. 27. RCMP charged the 21-year-old driver of the GMC with manslaughter, impaired driving causing death and three other charges.