WESTPORT, Conn. – Students from Westport and beyond are flocking to the Internet to share messages of remembrance for Westport teen Bradley Helt, a junior at Fairfield Prep who died unexpectedly Monday night. He was 16.
“You are someone people are proud to know. You made people laugh, but never let anyone believe that was all there was to you,” Facebook user Kyle Guffey wrote on Bradley's Facebook page. “You were dedicated, confident and friendly. I'm honored to have known someone so full of life.”
Bradley grew up in Westport and attended Long Lots Elementary and Coleytown Middle School before he enrolled at Prep. An avid swimmer, he was a member of Prep’s state champion swim team and the Wahoos Swim Club at the Wilton Family Y. Before high school, he was also a member of the Westport Weston Family Y Water Rat Team.
Many of those leaving messages on Bradley’s Facebook page commented on his sense of humor and memorable smile.
“I know I'm not the first to say this, and I know I definitely will not be the last to say this, but your smile lit up the room the second you walked it,” Facebook member Tim Attolino Jr. wrote. “Whenever anyone was having a bad day, they could count on your unique sense of humor to make them feel better. I can honestly say that you had such an impact on my life, and I will never forget you.”
Sarah Cohen, who said she attended elementary school with Bradley, wrote, “It was simply impossible not to love your energy and sense of humor.”
Many other students are remembering Bradley via Twitter. Twitter member "Lex" wrote, “Rest in peace Bradley Helt, you will be well missed and you were an amazing kid, and everyone thinks so!”
Grief counseling was being offered to students at Staples and Fairfield Prep. There was no word yet on funeral services.