As Nap Cantwell entered adulthood, his personality began to shine. But now friends and family are mourning the loss of a man they hardly had the chance to know.
Cantwell was running late for work when, riding his father’s bike, he collided with the side of a van at Pike and Boren the morning of May 29. He never recovered consciousness and died June 6 with his parents and sister by his bedside.
Friends and family are holding a memorial at Olympic Sculpture Park at 3 p.m. Thursday, which would have been his 19th birthday. The memorial will be followed by a reception at Elysian Brewing Co. at 13th and Pike on Capitol Hill.
Friends and family told the Seattle Times Cantwell was a funny, often quiet young man just starting to come into his own:
But this year, Cantwell started working at Elysian Brewing Co., where his dad, Dick Cantwell, was co-founder. He flourished, and was just finalizing plans to get his own place to live in Georgetown.
“I had always said, ‘Nap is going to be a great adult. It’s just going to take him a while to get there,’ ” said his mother, Chiyo Ishikaya. “We really felt that we were seeing glimmers of that more complete person on the horizon.”
As they sat for eight days in their son’s hospital room, his parents said they were amazed by all the lives their son had touched. At one point, more than 30 teenagers packed his room in the intensive-care unit.
“He was just a really good guy, like one of the best guys,” said Andrew Imanaka, a friend from middle school and high school. “I’m not really sure how to explain him. … Having a good time was just a big thing for him.”
Cantwell was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision and died of a traumatic brain injury. The collision remains under investigation by police.
For those who want to make a donation in Nap’s name, his family suggests giving to Bike Works.
Condolences to his friends and family.