Family members compared the lot of fatally stunned Brian Cardall to that of various martyrs during his funeral this week.
"I can't help but think of facts surrounding Brian's death when I read the account of our Savior's crucifixion in the book of Luke," Brian Cardall's father, Duane Cardall, said during funeral services at an LDS Church building in the East Millcreek area. "He hung on the cross virtually naked … treated ill by officers of the law. His words resound in my ear: 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' "
Cardall tearfully continued that he hopes and prays, and has counseled his children and grandchildren "to follow the example of Jesus Christ and hold no animosity nor vindictiveness" toward the circumstances — individually or collectively — surrounding the untimely death.
Brian Cardall died last Tuesday after a Hurricane police officer hit him twice with a Taser. Cardall, who family members say was bipolar, was running naked on a remote highway at the time and failed to lie on the ground when the officer told him to do so.
Other family members recalled the good times shared with their brother Brian, including many hours spent outdoors, also listening to his self-composed music, admiring his paintings and reading his well-written research.
"He lived more adventure in a lifetime than most people could ever imagine," said sister Jane Cardall, who also shared a childhood experience in which Brian tossed a marble her direction, hitting and shattering the oven door. "Those things always happened when our parents were away."
Paul Cardall likened qualities and life experiences of his deceased brother to Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, saying he thought of Brian when recently reading Smith's scriptural account. Like Smith, Brian Cardall could often be found "meditating in the woods," Paul Cardall said. "He worried about his soul … wondering if God knew him, trying to find his role in the Creation."
His scientific inquiry and experimental research once led to his mother cooking one of the specimens Brian Cardall had left in the refrigerator, sister Rebecca Smith told an overflow crowd at the funeral service. Previous conversations with her brother allowed her to be "at peace" with his untimely death.
Duane Cardall added that his 32-year-old son had journaled his own "bucket list," including about 100 items he hoped to accomplish in life. Among them were serving an LDS mission, becoming an Eagle Scout and marrying his wife, Anna, in the LDS temple. Brian hiked the Inca trail with Anna on their honeymoon and came close to climbing Mount McKinley while he was working in Alaska, both adventures were also on the list.
His plot at the Salt Lake City Cemetery lies in view of Mount Olympus, where the young man experienced many hiking and rock climbing adventures before he left to pursue a doctorate degree in biology with emphasis on ecological genetics from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Family members described him as a "gifted scientist."
"He gave us a way to see things differently," said NAU professor Steven M. Shuster, who also spoke at the funeral. "He never tired of discovery."
Family and close friends gathered at a campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Monday evening for an additional and intimate memorial service.
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