July 23, 1948 - Feb. 4, 2014
Resident of Aptos
Brian grew up in Trenton, Michigan, where he spent his days swimming on the swim team, reading encyclopedias, working at the Ford factory, and soaking up boatloads of information that he would spend his life imparting to others.
After studying engineering at the University of Michigan, he longed for blue skies and the California coastline. He moved to Santa Cruz in 1969, where he grew out his hair and beard and found joy working in the sun as a contractor and electrician. On a rainy day in 1974, he was hitchhiking in Aptos when a car full of Peruvians picked him up. The car included his future wife, Cecilia. After a brief courtship, they eloped to Gardnerville, Nevada, where they were married by a Justice of the Peace. Seven years later, they added to their family and had their daughters, Kimberly, Lilly, and Natalie. Brian and each daughter have since spent their lives in what he called "the mutual adoration society."
Brian was a deeply loving father who bragged shamelessly about his children, as much of the Santa Cruz community can confirm. He worked hard to instill in his children the same love for life that he had. He would spend endless hours in conversation, carpools, and on the sidelines of his daughters' soccer games. Pragmatism took a backseat to outdoor sports, Mexico road trips, nerdy curiosity, and delicious food. He spent much of his fifties learning how to farm grapes and make wine—and drink it, too. He also spent many years singlehandedly remodeling the family home in beautiful, Diego Rivera fashion.
Brian was known for his eccentricities. He made up songs to suit every occasion: like "O pobre de mi (hija)" to lament, or "I am very clean" to celebrate a shower. He loved his haphazardly buttoned shirts, paired with paint-splattered jeans. This flair for fashion complemented his strong, often jagged, opinions that he was ready to express on any topic. The combination sometimes caught people off guard. Those that knew him loved him well for it.
Brian took very little for himself while giving endlessly to others. He was fiercely supportive and proud of his family and friends. It felt like his faith in someone willed them to be the person he saw them as. After a short battle with cancer, Brian passed peacefully in his home surrounded by his family. Brian will be remembered for his sharp brain, open heart, large beard, and enthusiasm for the world.
He is survived by many, including his wife of 40 years, Cecilia; his three daughters, Kimberly, Lilly, and Natalie; their partners Lars and Laura; his brand-new granddaughter Cecilia Lis; and his "magnificent" dogs, Manchito and Dulce. Brian leaves a world longing for another thirty years with him. His family finds solace in knowing that he lived his time here to the fullest.
Memorial contributions can be made in his name to thedream.us. We will celebrate Brian at 2 PM, on Saturday, February 8, at Main St. Garden & Café in Soquel, California. Those who loved Brian are welcome to attend. He always loved a good party.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Feb. 6, 2014