EAST WINDSOR, N.J. - Riley Branstrom, self-proclaimed FIRST Robotics nerd and a 2012 graduate of Hightstown High School, regrettably passed away May 6, 2013, at the burgeoning age of 18.
Arthur and Mary Branstrom welcomed the fun-loving boy into the world on July 1, 1994, in Rockville, Md., and introduced him to an older sister. After moving to East Windsor, N.J., they welcomed a second daughter a few years later.
Like many Branstroms, Riley felt at home in Michigan and enjoyed summers up north.
The young man excelled in graphic design, science, and mathematics, and he had begun to attend University of Rhode Island in pursuit of a degree in marine biology and engineering.
Bidding Riley goodbye are his parents; his sisters, Rachel, 22, and Hayley, 15; paternal grandmother, Erma Branstrom; maternal grandparents, Judith Gaudette, Mathias and Mary Lu Gaudette; godparents, Robert and Terri Branstrom; numerous other aunts, uncles, and cousins; team Mercury 1089; and many friends who were fortunate enough to know him.
Riley's family will receive friends on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services will follow visitation at 7 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone with Rev. Fr. Emmett Norden officiating. Riley will be laid to rest in the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Escanaba.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Riley's name to either Mid-Atlantic Robotics (via check mailed to Treasurer, Mid-Atlantic Robotics, 154 Old Clinton Road, Flemington, New Jersey 08822) or American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org).
The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Branstrom family with arrangements.
Messages of condolence to Riley's family may be offered online at www.skradskifuneralhomes.com.