Acts of kindness planned in memory of B.C. teen on his birthday

Planned for Jan. 3, family of Maple Ridge’s Aiden Serr ask for help when would have turned 20

  • Dec. 28, 2017 10:00 a.m.

Aiden Serr, a much-loved 19-year-old university student from Maple Ridge, died after crashing his vehicle early in the morning along Lougheed Highway in November. And in celebration of what would have been his 20th birthday, his family is calling on others to commit a random act of kindness.

The random act of kindness will pay tribute to Aiden as someone who was always helping others, his family told Black Press Media.

Barb Serr remembers when her grandson – who would have turned 20 on Jan. 3 – was young and hanging out with his cousin Hailey. They would lift a board to a barn on their grandparents’ property and try and save all the bugs and worms from the birds.

That’s why Hailey called him ‘Bug.’

Barb also recalls stories teachers told her about how Aiden, when in high school, would give lunch money to students who didn’t have food.

And his grandfather, Jim Serr, tells how Aiden, in minor hockey, was never a player who needed to score goals, but took pride in passing the puck and setting up others.

“He was always giving stuff to everybody,” Barb said.

Sometimes he was too busy helping others to do his homework.

If friends needed help, even late at night, they would go to Aiden and knock on his bedroom window.

His parents are both like that.

His father is Abbotsford Police deputy chief Mike Serr, while his mother, Kirsten Urdahl-Serr, is a local teacher.

Jim said when Mike first started out as a police officer in Vancouver, he was always giving his lunch away to someone who needed it more.

Barb said Kirsten is known to keep food in a desk drawer at school for those who need it, and often spends lunch hour in her classroom helping students.

“That’s just the way they are,” Barb said.

That’s the way Aiden was, and now his family wants to inspire others to be the same.

Aiden was studying film and biology at Simon Fraser University after graduating from Maple Ridge secondary in 2016. He was an avid photographer who wanted to one day shoot for National Geographic. He also loved nature and his SPCA rescue dog, Willy.

Aiden also played minor hockey, as well as box and field lacrosse and ball hockey for local clubs and a school team. He was a captain on various teams.

Simon Fraser University created a memorial fund to honour Aiden, and exceeded its goal of raising $25,000, while hundreds of people packed into Maple Ridge Baptist Church to celebrate Aiden’s life.

His mother has said the family is blessed to have many photos that show how Aiden viewed the world.

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

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 not to the next in line, but a teammate who he knew would appreciate the gesture.

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

The family wants to see that continue in others, because, Jim said, sometimes we forget.

“This has left a real hole in our family,” adds Barb, “and just everyone doing something nice for someone else makes us feel happy because that’s what Aiden would do.”

• To join the event, see

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Memorial hockey tournament honours seven families united by tragedy

Fifteen Midget C teams anxious to play in an event that’s second to none for emotion and excitement

Canadian Road Trip on the agenda

Fuller Lake Skating Club taking audience on a memorable excursion

International students staying in Washington pass through Chemainus

Rotary club group guests of honour for lunch at the Legion Hall

‘Reasonable’ tax increases a sign of an election year

We’re the losers for increases in the last 10 years

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read