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Often finding his solace out in nature, Juan Pablo Brant, or “J.P.,” often went hiking and mountain biking to escape his day-to-day routines. Brant took philosophy classes at Weber State University, where he was a nontraditional student and an integrated studies major.
After being reported missing for almost a week, Brant’s body was recovered from an area near the peak of Mount Ogden on Jan. 22. His friends and family members will continue to remember him as an ever-curious conversationalist who loved to see the world.
Brant, 27, was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A convert to the church, he attended the Ogden 16th Singles Ward. Trevor Amicone, a friend of Brant’s from church, said Brant was a deep thinker and always fun to talk to.
“(He) always inspired you to think deeper about things,” Amicone said. “He was curious and he loved people. He loved getting to know people and getting to know the way they thought and getting to know what their perspective on life was.”
Often mountaineering to Waterfall Canyon or Mount Ogden, Brant was an outdoor enthusiast. At church, he often talked about how he spent his week doing something outdoors.
“He wanted to get away and get into a place where he could think,” Amicone said. “With the curious mind he had, he liked to wonder about things.”
Brant kept a picture of Snowbasin and Mount Ogden in his pocket with a journal. According to Naomi Borel, an ex-girlfriend who resides in California, he said he was going to live there forever. Brant left that picture with Borel, and she said it was crazy that Snowbasin was his final home. Borel said she remembers Brant as a spiritual being who was highly connected to serving others.
“He never asked for anything,” Borel said. “He always tried to give more of himself than anyone ever would, and really would give you the shirt off his back … (He) was so sweet and innocent.”
Monica Brant, Juan Brant’s mother, said he was the sixth child out of 14, and that he was raised all over the world, but came back to America to finish high school. Brant’s parents are missionaries and do services with many churches across the world. Monica Brant said her son had a specific love of language. He learned French and Spanish, and even picked up some Chinese and Russian when he lived there with his family.
A viewing and memorial service will be held from 6-8 p.m. tonight at Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836 36th St. in Ogden. During the special memorial service, anyone may participate and have the opportunity to speak and pay their last respects. Friends and acquaintances of Brant’s are encouraged to attend. Donations will be accepted at Leavitt’s Mortuary to help defray costs. Please visit www.rememberingjuanbrant.com for more photos and information.