Family and friends of Peter Surey gathered at the Floradale Mennonite Church on Monday to pay their respects.
Surey, 27, was killed in a single-vehicle collision on May 5, along with Elmira’s Bryan Maher, also 27. The two were up at Killarney Provincial Park for the annual park clean-up event.
Brittany Jones, a close friend of Surey, gave a eulogy at his memorial service, and she says Killarney had a special place in Surey’s heart.
“It didn’t matter how busy he was, he always made the effort to make that trek, especially with Bryan,” she said. “They kind of ran in different circles, but they always met up to make that trip. That was significant and important to him. He loved city life … but I think he had always wanted to live in the rocks and the trees.”
Surey was born in England, but moved to the Woolwich area when he was very young, attending school in Drayton before coming to Elmira in middle school. He was an active member of the local Venturers and, Jones said, always happy and loving.
“He is so difficult to describe, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. He was truly one of the most exceptional friends I ever had. He was loyal to the core and once you had him as a friend, there was no losing him ever,” she said. “He made every effort to be there when he as needed. He made every effort to make sure that people knew that they were important to him.”
For Jones, she looks at how Surey lived his life, and is using it as an example of how to live hers.
“His attitude towards life was just go for it. He didn’t ever hold back. For me, someone who is a bit more reserved and concerned with traditional things in life, I think the impact on me has been to learn to just go for it,” she said. “I need to spend less time worrying about the small things and live my life a little more fully and a way that would make Peter happy. No regrets. I truly don’t think he had any regrets.”
For her, the last couple of weeks have been about remembering the good times with Surey.
“Remembering Peter and talking about Peter, I think I have done a lot more laughing than I have done crying. He was just that kind of person. Any story you tell about him, was just hilarious and funny. You really had to know him as a person. It is a hard feeling to describe,” she said.