Member Of Truck-Lite Co. Management, Beloved Member Of Community Passes

JAMESTOWN – 64-year-old Bradley Van Riper, a father, grandfather, husband, brother, son, and beloved community member, went to be with his Heavenly Father Friday morning at 1:10 A.M. at UPMC Chautauqua WCA after a six-month battle with cancer. 
Van Riper, for many years, served as the Chief Technical Officer and Senior VP of Research & Development for Truck-Lite Co. His occupation allowed him to travel extensively throughout the country and world.
I, personally, was blessed to be able to know Brad and his family my entire life as both my family and his spent many years at Levant Wesleyan Church. Both Brad and his wife of nearly 40 years, Becky (who is surviving), opened their home to myself and many other community members on numerous occasions throughout the years.
Brad and I connected both through our faith and our love for sports. He was one of the biggest New York Giants fans I’ve ever had the chance to know. Sundays would be really exciting whenever the Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers (my favorite team) played each other.
There were many things that I’ve appreciated about Brad, but two things really stick out to me as I continue to type. His refusal to waiver from his faith, even when his cancer battle turned south, is a testament to his character regardless of whether a person shares similar beliefs with him, or not.
The second thing that stood out to me was that he never portrayed himself as someone who is superior to others. Brad had a successful job, a family, and other objects that would fall under the notorious “American Dream.” He would give thanks to God for what he was blessed with, and, under His leadership, would be there for those who were down.
My all-time favorite memory with Brad involved a Cleveland Cavs game that him, myself, and two other friends attended in 2013. We managed to secure four mid-court, club-level tickets for the contest against the Indiana Pacers. At that time, both teams were struggling, it was mid-March and former-Cav Kyrie Irving was out with a wrist injury.
To most fans, it’d be a boring game. And, in terms of the actual score, it was. The four of us, however, still had a blast with the memories we made. We were able to meet the Cavs’ cheerleaders, which led to a hilarious story. One of them had the name Megan, which also happens to be my sister’s name (although it’s spelled irregularly as Meagan).
We decided to text my mom, who was back at home, and tell her that Meagan Hummel was at the game. We also sent a picture of the group of us and Megan, the cheerleader, to my mom. She was frantically texting back, asking “Who’s Megan?”.
Needless to say, there were a lot of questions my mom had. At that time, my sister was attending Houghton College.
We laughed and laughed the rest of the evening.
I was fortunate enough to visit Brad Thursday in his hospital room, and I still talked to him about sports. Brad, I’ll never forget how much of an impact you’ve had on me, my family, and our community.
Brad is survived by a lot of family, including his wife, Becky, and sons Aaron and Chris. Arrangements aren’t available as of yet.

9 Comments

  1. To Becky & the rest of the family our deepest condolences, and our deepest love and respect love Henry & Allison Johnson

  2. Brad will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and community. He holds a special place in my family’s hearts with many of those memories from Levant Wesleyan Church. Brad’s life was truly a testimony of God’s great love. Thank you, Matt, for writing this kind and thoughtful article. It truly depicts some attributes of this gentle giant and godly man!

  3. I had the utmost respect for Brad. He always treated everyone with respect and never acted like he didn’t have time for you. He was always smiling and had a great attitude. My sincerest condolences and thoughts & prayers for his family & friends. Rest In Peace Brad.

  4. Beautifully said. He touched so many lives. I will forever be thankful to God for crossing our paths. A testimony of a life well lived. ❤️

  5. Becky, Please accept my condolences. I have been away for so long and did not know Brad was ill. You and your family have my prayers for your comfort.

  6. I was privileged to know Brad and work with him for 5 years at the Levant Wesleyan church. Those 5 years forged a lifetime friendship. My heart grieves his loss today but celebrates his life with deep gratitude. Love to Becky and the family. ❤️
    — Karl & Elaine

  7. Becky, Aaron and Chris, I can’t begin to express my heartfelt sorrow to hear of Brad’s passing. You the funny thing is I don’t know if I’ve ever called him Brad. To me he was Mr. VanRiper. It wasn’t out of a lack of friendship but rather a respect I give those who’ve made an impression on my life. True gentleman in every sense. My heart truly aches but the comfort of knowing he’s now with his Heavenly Father. RIP

  8. Becky, Chris, and Aaron,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. We’ve had a lot of good times over the years and I thank God for the friendship that we’ve had. I appreciate especially the way he related to my son Matthew. God has the most remarkable way of putting the right people in our paths at just the right time. Brad will be missed but we know that we will see him again in a far better place than this.

  9. Becky. It always seems that words are so inadequate and because we’ve been gone for so long, we kind of lost touch, but always had high regard for Brad and you. He was always kind and never condescending. You and he were great examples of God’s love, not only for each other but for the community around you. We are so sorry for your family, but know he will be waiting for that great reunion someday. Our thoughts and prayers.

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