‘He could shine in his own way’

Student Eric Hatlelid found dead in his home on Jan. 31

Eric Hatlelid, ArtSci ’11, is remembered by his friends as a bright student with a unique sense of humour.
Eric Hatlelid, ArtSci ’11, is remembered by his friends as a bright student with a unique sense of humour.

Eric Hatlelid will be remembered as a quick-witted, exceptionally talented student who loved sports and classic rock.

Hatlelid, ArtSci ’11, was found dead by his housemates at their home on Saturday.

Queen’s Chaplain Brian Yelland said an autopsy is being done to determine the cause of death.

“The best speculation I have is that it was of a natural cause and that nothing untoward has happened,” he said. “We don’t know anything more than that until the result.”

Michael Renouf, ArtSci ’11 and one of Hatlelid’s housemates, said he met Hatlelid in first year.

“We lived in McNeil on the fourth floor and we met the first few days. He was a guitar player and I was bass and we connected in that. We were both in science so we had a lot of classes.”

Renouf said Hatlelid, a Vancouver native, was an avid skier and snowboarder who enjoyed taking trips to Whistler and remained active during his time at Queen’s.

“He loved going to football games because our housemate is an offensive linemen on the football team. We actually painted ourselves for a few of the games, painting ourselves tricolor,” he said. “He was involved in this year’s LifeSci sports team. He helped organize the team and was a big participant in that. He was doing intramural volleyball. He loved to play squash.”

Renouf said Hatlelid was one of the smartest people he knew.

“He had a ridiculous sense of humour and had an amazing dry wit,” he said. “He was so sarcastic all the time, he could always make you laugh and always looked on the bright side of the worst kind of situations.”

Rachael Pinsky, ArtSci ’11, went to high school with Hatlelid at Prince of Wales Mini School in Vancouver, a small program where Pinsky said everybody knew everyone else.

“Eric was really funny. He had the most unique sense of humour of anyone I’ve ever known,” she said. “He could think of things on the spot that no one else could think of ever in a million years.”

Pinsky said Hatlelid was known by his friends for his genuine personality. “Beyond all the humour and everything else he was really good-hearted,” she said. “He also was really honest. What you saw was what you got. There was no faking it. He was a really real and honest person.”

Anna Migicovsky, ArtSci ’11, also went to high school with Hatlelid.

Migicovsky said Hatlelid was an exceptionally bright student who stood out in their 30-person class.

“He was a very intelligent person, he was a master at school without having to do any work,” she said. “He’d never bring any class notes, he’d never have to do his homework, but would always amaze the teachers on tests and assignments.

“He spent all his hours with his guitar in his basement learning everything about classic rock. He argued how amazing Led Zeppelin and The Beatles were and how we were crazy for not devoting our time to learning about classic rock,” she said.

“He was a character and the best thing was that he was able to be himself. He wasn’t like other people in that he could shine in his own way.”

A memorial service for Eric Hatlelid will be held tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Chalmers United Church, 212 Barrie St. All welcome.

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