LEVERETT - Brian L. Werner, 53, of Leverett, passed away on Jan. 13, 2013, at home after living with lung cancer for several years.
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He was born Nov. 17, 1959, in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated from Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind., and Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., with an associates degree in law enforcement.
After working as a private investigator and police officer, he returned to school and earned a bachelors and masters degree in political science from The Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in political science from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
He was a faculty member in the government and politics department at St. John's University in Queens, N.Y. and while there, was an early adopter of online education. He was noted for developing online hands-on simulations for his students. This led to extensive consulting work with academic publishers developing online resources for their Political Science, Sociology and Psychology textbooks.
After moving with his family to Leverett in 1998, he worked as a senior research analyst with People, Places and Designs Research in Northampton. He worked with a wide variety of museums and institutions throughout the U.S. and presented the firm's work at national conferences. His work benefited museum and exhibit planning and he was known for his ability to work collaboratively with anyone and everyone he encountered.
Above all else, Brian was a devoted and loving husband and father. Nothing pleased him more than spending time with his family. He was fondly called "the recreation director" by his family, as he was always up for a good-natured game. He was skilled at billiards and over the years, taught group and private lessons and competed in numerous leagues and tournaments. He played doubles tennis with friends on the 'Racket Science' team and enjoyed regular pot luck dinners and low-stakes, laughter-filled poker evenings with friends.
He loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed hiking, tending to his land, using his chain saw and spending time at Quoddy Head State Park with his family. He was known for his stability, honesty and integrity, a liberal, with a strong work ethic and great sense of humor who loved and valued his family and community.
He served at various times on the Leverett School Council, Community Preservation Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals.
Brian is survived by his wife of 26 years, Lisa Sullivan-Werner of Leverett; his daughter, Kathleen Werner of Easthampton; his son, Daniel Werner of Leverett; his father, Donald Werner of North Fort Myers, Fla.; his mother, Betty (Brown) Werner and partner Frank Giuliani of Cape Coral, Fla; his sister, Barbara Werner-Lubich and husband Bruce Lubich of Baltimore, Md.; his brother, Michael Werner and wife Cindi of Murraysville, Penn.; his sister, Karen Milstein and husband Rand of Olney, Md.; his brother, Christopher Werner and wife Tracie of Troy, Mo.; and his dear nieces and nephews, Sean, Justin, Rachel, Tyler, Joshua, Benjamin, Ayla and Nick. He also leaves his in-laws, Ralph and Joan Sullivan of Eastport, Maine; his 'almost daughter' Molly Althage and husband Andrew and their daughter Lily of St. Louis, Mo.; his dear friend Richard Godsey of Leverett; and many caring friends and colleagues both local and throughout the country.
He was predeceased by both sets of grandparents.
A memorial service will be held at The Mount Toby Friends Meetinghouse in Leverett on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at 1:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions in Brian's memory may be made to, VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 168 Industrial Dr., Northampton, MA 01060 or the Leverett Library, 75 Montague Rd., Leverett, MA 01054.
The family wishes to thank the health care and hospice providers, extended family members, colleagues and friends who sustained us during the past several years. Your kindness will long be appreciated and, along with Brian, will never be forgotten.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jan. 15, 2013