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Memorial for Nap Cantwell Thursday, his would-be 19th birthday

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.

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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.

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5 responses to “Memorial for Nap Cantwell Thursday, his would-be 19th birthday”

  1. […] Lots of people are donating to Bike Works in honor of Nap Cantwell: […]

  2. Sandy Kardonsky

    My thoughts and prayers are with you always. So lost for words,so sorry for your loss.

  3. merlin

    I noticed the ghost bike has been placed. I didn’t know him but was very much saddened by his death. It is very touching that the family has chosen to direct memorial contributions to Bike Works – so that more young people can ride bikes, more people will be aware of bikes and hopefully no more young people will die.

  4. […] Nap Cantwell would have been 19 today. Flowers and two ghost bikes now adorn the intersection where he crashed into the side of a van May 29. He died one week later. […]

  5. Alex

    I’ve known Nap since elementary school and we played baseball together! I’m torn up by his death even though I last saw him in 2009. R.I.P. Old friend! You’ll always be in my thoughts.

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