‘He always took the time to talk’

Student Baha Bekenov died of a pre-existing condition Monday in Goodes Hall

Eakhytzhan Bekenov, known to his friends as Baha, was an international student from Kazakhstan. The Comm ’09 student was found dead in Goodes Hall on Nov. 11.
Eakhytzhan Bekenov, known to his friends as Baha, was an international student from Kazakhstan. The Comm ’09 student was found dead in Goodes Hall on Nov. 11.

Eakhytzhan Bekenov will be remembered as a quiet and caring student with a strong work ethic.

Known to his friends as Baha, the Comm ’09 student came to Queen’s from Kazakhstan and spent a year on exchange at the Copenhagen Business School.

Bekenov was found dead in a bathroom in Goodes Hall on the morning of Nov. 11 by a custodian.

Commerce Society President Matthew Price said Commerce staff and students are upset with the sudden loss of one of their own.

Bekenov was a Commerce Society senator in 2006-07.

“The Commerce family is deeply saddened by the loss of Baha: a classmate, a groupmate, a colleague and a friend,” Price told the Journal via e-mail. “On behalf of the Commerce Society, I would like to extend heartfelt sympathies to Baha’s family and everyone that has been touched by this tragedy, including students, faculty, staff and administration at Queen’s University.”

Queen’s Chaplain Brian Yelland said the University doesn’t have permission to disclose Bekenov’s cause of death, but said the regional coroner has determined the student died of natural causes.

“The straightforward part of the matter is the coroner has determined the cause of death was a pre-existing medical condition and that there was nothing untoward in his death,” he said. “It was a medical condition of which nobody was aware that took his life unexpectedly.”

Yelland said the University has been in contact with Bekenov’s family and has informed them of their son’s death.

“We have spoken with his family and his family’s representatives in Canada are here today and I have been meeting with them all through the day,” he said. “His family are not in Canada, but have been contacted. … They’re dealing with this personally and privately, and are not looking to release any information.”

Joel Greaves, Comm ’09, met Bekenov when they were in first year and went on exchange with him at the Copenhagen Business School.

“On exchange, we caught up with each other every once in a [while] randomly throughout Copenhagen or at exchange events. He always took the time to talk to anyone who wanted to and did so politely,” he said. “We ran into him a few times throughout Europe as well, sharing metro rides together, catching up on our latest adventures.”

Greaves said Bekenov was a well-spoken and friendly person.

“He was always generous in his words, but seemed careful in the way he spoke, always sure not to overstep his bounds,” he said. “He was one of the nicest and most polite guys I have ever met.”

Laurie Ross, director of the dean of the School of Business’s office, said the School of Business will work with commerce students and Yelland to organize a memorial for Bekenov over the next few weeks.

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