(Contributed) Aiden Serr loved the outdoors and photography, and hoped to work for National Geographic.

Maple Ridge family will always remember son as photographer, animal lover

Event Nov. 25 at Maple Ridge Baptist Church.

Mike Serr has unique memories of his son. Just the two of them, on a mountaintop with nothing but snow and rock. Or laying in a tent, in the pitch black, talking.

They are cherished memories. Too cherished, too soon.

Aiden was killed in a car accident at the age of 19 in Maple Ridge on Monday morning at 2:30 a.m.

“We’ve hiked some of the most amazing mountains and peaks,” said Mike. “Any parents who haven’t done that with their kids have got to do it.

“We would talk about everything from people to relationships to the solar system … and those are special moments.”

Mike is a deputy chief with the Abbotsford Police Department. His family’s tragedy became national news as it followed closely on the heels of the fatal shooting of Mike’s colleague, Const. John Davidson.

Mike remembers Aiden in diapers when he first started showing an affinity for nature.

“He refused to come off the lake,” said Mike, who would take the toddler out hoping to get a half hour outdoors with him.

“He would stay out there for six hours with me.”

Aiden became an avid and impressive photographer, with a goal to become a professional shooter for no less than National Geographic.

His mother, Kirsten Urdahl-Serr, a well known teacher at Maple Ridge secondary, said the family is blessed to have his many photos that show how Aiden viewed the world.

“The beauty of the outdoors was inspiring to him,” said Kirsten. “And animals were his focus.”

The photos are there on his Instagram account, like one showing his German Shepherd cross standing in front of a row of abandoned country cabins.

“Ghost hunting with William,” Aiden typed on the photo.

His sister Kiana, 21, tells how he took Willy with him everywhere. He loved the SPCA rescue dog, and made him the model in many of his photos. Aiden put a patch of artificial turf down in the back of his Isuzu Trooper for Willy to lay on during their travels.

“He was a really free spirit,” she said of her brother.

Kiana and Aiden were close siblings, and she can’t manage to say much more, so soon after losing him. But the family wanted to memorialize him, and honour Aiden’s memory.

“He was my best friend. We did everything together,” she said.

Kiana went to the world dance championships in Frankfurt, so Mike and Kirsten gave Aiden the opportunity to also pick a vacation on his own. He chose a National Geographic trip to Costa Rica for two weeks. He could attend as a photographer or as a naturalist, and he chose to take the trip like a young Charles Darwin. Out of 21 who attended, he was the only student who conducted and finished his research on the trip – studying the growing patterns of bryophytes on jungle trees.

He always had a patient dedication to whatever he was doing, his mom said.

Everyone knew him as gregarious and fun, but she describes him as a sensitive kid, who looked out for the little guy. That’s what the teachers at Alexander Robinson elementary told her about her son.

“He stood up for the kids who needed somebody else’s voice,” she said. “And if he felt there was a wrong, he spoke up. It’s always been about ‘what’s right’.”

His dad got the opportunity to coach him, and in sports like hockey and lacrosse Aiden could be a warrior.

“He was not always the best player on his teams, but he had a work ethic and he understood teamwork,” said Mike.

When his team won a championship banner, Aiden accepted as the team captain, then took it and handed it off to the player who was perhaps farthest from the team’s superstar. Aiden was only 14 when he made that gesture.

“That was him, on his own,” said Mike.

“He just does stuff – he doesn’t look for permission or support,” Kirsten said of Aiden. “He just does what he needs to do.”

“When he was all by himself, he knew what was right and what was wrong.”

They were a little surprised when he got involved with MP Dan Ruimy’s campaign as the Liberal party worked to unseat Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, but there he was down at the Liberal Party headquarters on election night, celebrating in a Justin Trudeau T-shirt.

Ruimy was one of the many people who offered his condolences on social media.

“He was such an inspiring young man and I am grateful to have called him a friend,” Ruimy said. “He had a passion for politics and for making this country a better place.”

“We appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone,” said Mike. “He touched a lot of people.”

A celebration of life is being planned for Nov. 25 at the Maple Ridge Baptist Church, at the corner of 222nd St. in downtown Maple Ridge at 1 p.m.

The family is planning to have a display of Aiden’s photography, and show the short film that he had been working on while attending at Simon Fraser University, where he was studying film and biology.

“Please invite everyone who knew and loved him,” reads a post by Olivia Leaf on the Facebook page created for the celebration.

The family asks that donations be made to the SPCA in Aiden’s memory.

Aiden was never destined for a desk job, or to be a police officer, said his dad. He pictures his son “with a bandanna on his head and the wind in his ear.

“At some point we were going to lose him to the world. He was going to put a backpack on and be gone for a few years.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

LETTER: Writer supports government ousting non-compliant hospice

MAiD: Make the decision for yourself, but keep your nose out of other people’s choices

Private investigator joins hunt for missing Maple Ridge pharamacist

Family and friends of Port Coquitlam’s Atefeh Jadidian raise money to help in search

Maple Ridge author launches new fantasy series

Brooke Carter’s first book, The Stone of Sorrow, comes out April 7

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read