Saturday, March 24, 2012

A lucky man.

Photo 1: Brian on the left, jamming with Mike Kohan.
Photo 2: Hanging with Kalen Williams.
Photo 3: Officiating at Ruben Gann's and Jessica Dennis's wedding.
Photo 4: At a mutual  friend's wedding, with Kalen Williams, Sean Miller and Brian.

If having many friends  and a supporting family are part of happiness, Brian was a happy man. He had known Mike and Sean since elementary school, grew up playing sports together, in the same neighborhood, going to the same summer camps and participating in each other's life even after they moved on to college, to jobs.

They found ways  to play basketball or soccer whenever they had a chance to be together.  On many occasions, as teens, when life at home got icy, they spent time at each other's house, camping out until they could face their problems.

Mike and Brian took their first piano class from the same teacher, Miss Kalen.  Mike pursued piano and music professionally. Brian remained an amateur. As children, they recorded their efforts on a home-made CD, outfitting themselves as punk-rockers.

Though they attended different high schools, the boys attended games and dances at the other's school, expanding their circle of friendss.

Brian met Kalen Williams in college, were roommates.  That Sean ended socializing in the same circles is a testimony to their willingness to remain friends and continue to help with small and big things, like moving from one apartment to the other, giving each other's advice.

Ruben was Brian's lab mate. He has related stories about Brian,  about the jokes they played on each other in the Physics Lab, about moving a great big television from one place to another, never an easy task, and how the two of them conducted studies and published their first paper together. When it was time to marry, Ruben asked Brian to officiate. Brian took the task seriously, even qualifying himself officially with some sort of on line course and certificate.

I found scrap papers in the Long Beach house as I was cleaning up. He had organized a party game, with Jeopardy type questions and games that involved recall, analysis, word association, current affairs, world history. The game was quite elaborate.

After his death one of his friends volunteered to draft an obituary.  My husband and I remarked that we couldn't have done any better. The obituary mentioned Brian's warmth, his sense of humor, his intelligence, his  playfulness. ( I never did find out who wrote that beautiful obituary!)

At his funeral, at his memorial, pictures were displayed and stories were told. Each person customized a written message for the boardwalk they created.

Brian was indeed a very lucky man.


  1. I believe that all that knew Brian were the lucky ones.
    We don't know how long we will be here in this life... few are fortunate enough to have had a friend such as Brian was to many. i would like to think that some would find me as such a friend.
    life is short.
    its best to make all you can of each day, and be a presenence. for those you touch may just make a real difference.
    love to you Rosaria~ is janet?

  2. It's so important to honor and make sense of a lived ones life, Rosaria. Beautiful blog project!

  3. Well written Donna! Brian sounds like he was a very remarkable son! I wish you the best in writing his story, and I'm sure you will do it justice!

  4. Wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading about your Brian ....