Posted on Dec 13, 2003

Craig LeDuc '05
Kyle Schrade '05

Campus memorial is set for Thursday, Jan. 8, at 4 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.

Funerals were held Wednesday, Dec. 17, for Craig LeDuc of Pittsfield and Kyle Schrade of Delanson, two Union College juniors who died in a car accident on Dec. 13 in Pittsfield, Mass.

Dozens of students returned from holiday break to attend. There were also a number of faculty, staff and alumni present at the two services.

Thoughts from campus

“At times like this, words always seem empty and meaningless,” said Union President Roger Hull in a message to the College community. “As I said to Craig's and Kyle's parents, our thoughts are with them at this incredibly difficult time, as they are with each of you who knew Craig and Kyle.”

Counselors and campus chaplains were available at Silliman Hall for grief counseling. Flags on campus are flying at half staff. A memorial service will be held on campus in January. Details will be announced.

Friends remember

Friends recalled political science major Schrade, 20, as a dedicated member of Sigma Chi fraternity who loved playing and watching basketball. Despite commuting to classes from his home in Delanson this past term, he was one of the fraternity's most involved members, according to Tyson McCabe '05, a member of the basketball team. Another freind, Ryan Smith '05 recalls Schrade, his first-year roommate, as a young man who overcame an initial shyness to become a popular student who enjoyed trading barbs with friends over his basketball prowess. “Once we got to know him, he was the biggest goofball,” Smith said, recalling Schrade's boast that he could “dunk on anyone.” A high school basketball player at Duanesburg Central School, he continued to play in intramurals. He was an avid fan of Union basketball and a DJ on College radio station WRUC. As a student, he worked in Union's Office of College Relations.

Schrade's family includes his father, Steven '70; his mother, Sherry, who received her master's in teaching from the College in 1990; and his sisters, Kelly '99 and Amy '02, who as students were active in the College's admissions office.

Smith remembers LeDuc, 20, his roommate during sophomore year, as a bright, friendly and curious student who early in his time at Union “changed majors just about every week.” As an economics major, he wrote a paper about the effects of changing oil prices on consumer spending patterns. A diehard Boston Red Sox fan, LeDuc would stay up late to discuss the merits of each player on the roster, said Smith, himself a Yankees fan. This year, LeDuc had begun to get involved with the College's Concert Committee, an activity he shared with Schrade, Smith said. Friends said that LeDuc and Schrade were looking forward next year to living in a residence hall at the former Ramada Inn on Nott Street, now being renovated by the College.

The accident

A 1998 Ford Taurus driven by LeDuc failed to negotiate a turn as the two men and a friend were headed northbound on Holmes Road, about three miles from the center of Pittsfield on Saturday at 12:47 a.m., police said.

The car struck a cluster of trees on the driver's side, killing LeDuc, who was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Schrade, who was riding in the seat behind the driver, died at Berkshire Medical Center.

The car's other occupant, Joshua Shepard, a student at Lafayette College, was treated at BMC and released. Shepard, who had been riding in the front passenger seat, is the brother of Union sophomore Courtney Shepard.