Brad Ipema joined the SCUPE board of directors in 2012 having recently returned to Chicago from Washington DC. The son of one of SCUPE’s founders, Bud Ipema, SCUPE was very much a part of his growing up. He was eager to be involved in thinking about the future of urban theology and ministry and moving SCUPE forward.
Last week, while on a 100 mile bike ride in Michigan with friends, Brad suffered a heart attack from which he could not be revived. Brad passed away on Monday.
Brad served as the Chief Compliance Officer, Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Discover Financial Services. His public service experience includes work during and after law school with former U.S. Senator Paul Simon on Judiciary Committee issues, and significant experience as an attorney with the General Counsel’s office of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
He was “one of those people that are so essential to a vibrant church fellowship,” commented a friend from his church. “He had that optimistic outlook that made one instantly aware that his faith meant something to him…every day…and it was contagious since it permeated his whole attitude towards life. In the DC church, I remember his involvement, especially with the youth…not only of the church family but also the neighborhood. He was also deeply engaged in summer theater activities. Economic, ethnic and racial barriers were not obstacles for Brad.”
It was this commitment to God’s people despite economic, ethnic and racial barriers that made Brad enthusiastic about SCUPE. He believed in SCUPE’s commitment to educate leaders with skills to engage their churches and community organizations to transform cities towards justice, inclusivity and peace.
Brad Ipema is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Kirstin, and his 10 year old son Wells; his father Rev. Bud Ipema, two siblings Gardi Wilks and Ben Ipema, 8 brother and sister in-laws, 10 nieces and nephews and countless friends. A loving man of faith, laughter, loyalty, and fun, Brad will be greatly missed.