Oct. 6, 1972 - Jan. 18, 2014
SOUTH BEND - Brian James Kinzie, 41, passed away on Saturday morning, January 18, 2014 at his home. Brian was born on October 6, 1972 in South Bend and has been a lifelong resident. On June 19, 2003 in South Bend, he married Gayle D. Ploetz. Brian was a 1991 graduate of Marian High School where he was a stand-out athlete. He played football at Blackburn College and received his Master's Degree in Education from Indiana University, South Bend. Brian was a teacher with the South Bend Community School Corporation, and he recently returned to his alma mater, Marian High School, where he was the defensive coordinator of the football team and the head track coach. He recently was an integral part of a 10-4 Marian Knights football team that claimed the school's first Regional Championship in 13 years. An imposing figure of a man, Brian was passionate about physical fitness, and he and his friends were a regular sight at O'Brien gym - Even on leg day. However, underneath his rugged physical appearance was a man who would melt at the sight of a dog. He is now reunited with his old German Shepherd and best friend, Maximus, who was waiting to greet him on the other side with a wagging tail and a drool-covered stick. Brian is survived by a large and close-knit family. Along with his wife, Gayle, survivors include his four-legged fur children, Ronin and Bella; his mother, Judy Kinzie of South Bend; sister, Manda (Jeff) Eichstedt of South Bend; brother, Justin Kinzie of South Bend; maternal grandparents, John and Lucille Burkart of South Bend; mother and father-in-law, Sherry and Eldon Ploetz of Sun Lakes, AZ; brothers and sisters-in-law, Terry (Beth) Ploetz of South Bend, Kris (Tricia) Ploetz of Evansville, IN, and Kari (Kevin) Erwin of Naperville, IL; and many nieces and nephews, including Mason and Brodie Kinzie, and Wesley Eichstedt. Brian was preceded in death by his loyal four-legged friend, Maximus. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 24, 2014 at the Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel, 3718 S. Michigan Street, South Bend. Graveside services and burial will follow at Southlawn Cemetery, South Bend. Friends may visit with the family from 2-8 p.m. on Thursday, January 23rd, at the Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel, South Bend. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Brian J. Kinzie may be donated to Marian High School Football Program c/o Reggie Glon, 1311 S. Logan Street, Mishawaka, IN 46544 or to the Humane Society, 2506 Grape Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Jan. 21, 2014