Dec. 9, 2005
Los Angeles - Brett Stern, a former UCLA men's water polo standout, passed away on Tuesday from injuries suffered in a car accident. He was 31.
Stern is survived by his wife Hillary and his daughter Avery.
"Those that have truly been lucky enough to share a part of Brett's life with him will miss him dearly," said head coach Adam Krikorian, a teammate of Stern at UCLA. "He was an incredibly loyal teammate with an unmatched work ethic and had a burning desire to compete. But more importantly, he was a great father, husband, son, brother and friend, and a man of the highest integrity."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Hillary, Avery, and the rest of his family," Krikorian said.
A native of Modesto, Calif., Stern began his career at UCLA in 1992, and as a true freshman scored 14 goals and tallied 11 steals. Stern was best known as a tenacious defender, especially with his great speed, long arms, competitiveness, and unmatched work ethic.
After the 1993 season in which he posted 30 goals and 39 steals, Stern took a break from water polo for a two-year Mormon mission in Brazil.
Stern returned to UCLA in 1996, and was an instrumental part of the Bruins' NCAA Championship run. During the 1996 championship season, Stern registered 14 goals as a starter. As a senior in 1997, Stern was named team captain and totaled 18 goals and 24 steals on the season.
"Brett was always the most respected person on the team and never seemed to be lacking a smile," Krikorian said. "He was one of those rare individuals who everyone loved and most uniquely, he loved everyone back."
A viewing will be held for Stern on Friday, Dec. 9 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Saddleback Chapel Mortuary, located at 220 E. Main Street in Tustin.
Stern's funeral will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Irvine Stake LDS Chapel located at 23 Lake Road. Graveside services will be held in Modesto near the end of next week. In lieu of flowers, Hillary has asked that donations be made to Avery's education fund.
Donations can be sent to:
CollegeAmerica FBO Avery Stern
c/o Halbert Hargrove
P.O. Box 1070
Long Beach, CA 90801-9931
Please make checks payable to "CollegeAmerica FBO Avery Stern"