BC mourns death of Speech and Debate team member


Jasmin Prasad, Staff Writer

Brandon Robert Bockman, born Sept. 28, 2002, passed away Oct. 4, 2018, due to complications from Type 1 diabetes. A vigil was held at Bear Creek in his honor after a Speech and Debate tournament Oct. 20, and his memorial was held Oct. 21.

Bockman was an active member of the Bear Creek Speech and Debate team. He was the first alternate in the Yosemite Forensic League’s Big Questions Debate tournament for the national qualifier. He was also awarded “Most Improved,” demonstrating the effort he put into the various debate events he competed in.

“As a second-year competitor, he was an integral part of the team, and his sudden departure has left a void in our speech family that no one else can fill,” Speech and Debate teacher and coach Karen Minick said.

While on the Speech and Debate team, Bockman reached great heights and he will be remembered as one of the biggest voices on the team — an individual who not only genuinely loved the activity, but also his fellow members.

Speech and Debate team member Eyan Atad recalled how Bockman was there for her when she was faced with the death of a close family member.

“He was just there for me… hugging me, telling me that it was going to be okay,” Atad said. “He was genuinely just a good person.”

His friends said that Bockman was always there for those in need of support.

“He was willing to be there for almost anyone, even if they weren’t willing to be there for him,” Atad said.

Donovan McDaniels, friend to Brandon and another Speech and Debate team member, remembered Brandon’s ability to make anyone smile with his humor.

“He always knew when something was wrong,” McDaniels said. “He was just a great friend, someone you could trust.”

Bockman’s unconditional care and loyalty were also evident in his friendship with junior Carlos Munoz.

“I met Brandon in the seventh grade… we always talked with each other whenever we had time,” Munoz said. “We were always connected… he was my right-hand man,” Munoz said.

Although diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 11 years old, classmates say he lived his life with a certain resilience that served as an example of his strength to others. He never complained about the complications that arose as a result of his diabetes.

“[Brandon] was a good kid and he loved his little brother,” Brandon’s father said. “He was smart and caring. He gave us a hug every night before bed and gave his little brother a kiss every night.”

Classmates say he will be missed for the way that his voice sprung up with excitement in debates, for his ability to make anyone laugh, for his unconditional care and loyalty that he gave to his friends, and above all, for his kind soul.