Brausch, Jeffrey Charles
Jeffrey Charles Brausch - February 27, 1968 - January 29, 2021. After a courageous battle with a brain stem glioma, Jeffrey Charles Brausch rests in peace. He passed away at home, January 29, with his family at his side. Jeff was born February 27, 1968, in Fairview Park, Ohio. He spent most of his childhood in Columbus and remained a life-long Ohio State fan. Jeff learned to ski at Clear Fork and took annual trips with his Dad and sisters to Vail--an early imprint on a place that would later become home. Jeff also began fishing at the age of five in Lake Erie off the shore of Kelley's Island with his father and cousins, and as a young boy, he caught a record-size tarpon for his age class while night fishing off Key West. Such were the beginnings of Jeff becoming an accomplished fly fisherman. Along with a regular group of fly fishing friends and his son, Keaton, he went on to fish throughout North, Central, and South America and Iceland. In elementary school Jeff became fascinated with magic, first learning sleight-of-hand. He practiced hours upon hours daily in front of the mirror in his room. Cards, coins, rings, balls, scarves--he could manipulate anything to successfully dazzle his audience, and with the aid of his brutally honest sister--the convenient audience in the bedroom adjacent--he completely mastered every trick or illusion. Jeff was multi-talented, learning to juggle, ride a unicycle, and make elaborate balloon animals. He just wanted to entertain. Jeff became so good at his craft, he was hired to perform table magic at Mother's Pizza in Columbus at the age of eleven! His first stage name was Mysto the Magnificent, and he became a remarkable illusionist with an amazing stage presence making two white bunnies and numerous doves appear, disappear, then reappear. With sister Shelly as his assistant, he also performed a special "large illusion" called the zig-zag lady: Shelly stepped inside a tall box, and Jeff proceeded to insert three blades--once cut into three, he would move the middle box over to the side, hence, zig zag lady. Audiences and his peers loved it! The two performed at Magi-fest and competed widely. At age 16, Jeff was bestowed the title, Third in the World in Jr. Magic Competition. Meanwhile, the teenager got around in his beloved red Volvo station wagon: the magic mobile. He continued to perform on stage throughout college. Maybe you were lucky enough to see "Jeff the Magic Man" at the Beaver Trap in the '90s. Jeff and Kelli met during their college years and each took a semester off to join Kelli's brother, Scott, in Vail. When they returned after graduation, they were married! Jeff claimed he "married up," which might appear to be true as he did choose well with Kelli—but, if you knew Jeff, you know that he was a caring soul with an unparalleled magnetism and wit. He had a head of hair to be envied and a smile and charm to match. Jeff made Kelli laugh and never faltered in his devotion to her. Together, they lived the mountain life they sought by heading west--a life of adventure: skiing, cycling, golfing, fishing, and boating while forming their own extended family of kindred spirits. Never ones to turn down a trip, Kelli and Jeff traveled extensively exploring Europe, strolling beaches, cat- and heli- skiing in Canada, and floating the waters in Killarney and Lake Powell. And, yet, their greatest life adventure was growing and nurturing their family which includes children Keaton, Kiana, and Kamryn. Jeff championed all three to be the best versions of themselves. He possessed patience supported by his signature eye roll. He was proud of the fisherman Keaton had become and looked forward to carrying on the tradition of worldwide father-son trips that Jeff had shared with his own father. When Kiana won her second ski-meister title, Jeff was her biggest cheerleader calculating her points and celebrating her perseverance. Kamryn recalls Jeff always picking her up at school for super special lunch dates. Jeff was an entrepreneur at heart, and he had the good fortune of marrying Kelli who believed wholeheartedly in his ideas and who could brave the uncertainties that come with such ventures. While he was earning his MBA at Denver University, he and his brother-in-law, Scott, started Highline Sports and Entertainment out of their rented house on the 14th hole of Eagle-Vail golf course. The two hustled: with Scott working full time as Beaver Creek ski patrol and Jeff doing evening magic shows--neither taking a paycheck. It began with Jeff's idea of selling sponsorships for Scott and Kelli who were competing in moguls, and the company grew from there eventually bringing sports competitions, corporate events, and concerts to Vail. Their big break came from taking over Mogul Mania. Then, Red Bull approached them wishing to partner with them on the event. That led to Highline running many of Red Bull's events nationwide. Their vision became reality. Jeff's friends were along for the ride enjoying backstage, VIP access to music and competing in their events. Jeff was always several steps ahead, a visionary. After he and friends completed the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, Jeff, still in his sweat-drenched jersey and clutching his well-earned belt buckle, asked, "Why wouldn't we do this in Vail?" And, so the Vail Ultra 100 was born. Another point of note is Jeff's unwavering integrity when it came to supporting his sponsors. Whatever the product, Jeff's mantra was, "I don't care if you like it; you will now eat, drink, and buy _____." Many of his friends recall a particular sponsorship: Mickey's "Fine Malt Liquor." They were all drinking it whether they enjoyed it or not--and they were too young and cheap to protest. Among Jeff's many talents, some would claim his most impressive was the ability to execute a practical joke. With the same perfectionism and attention to detail used to create his successful business and to achieve greatness in the magic world, Jeff would craft elaborate pranks that were so sophisticated it was actually enjoyable to be the butt of one. It brings a smile to many faces when they recall being the target. Jeff clearly carried his love for making people laugh throughout his life. Jeff's generous nature, his charisma, and his ability to be present with us were truly his magic. He will be missed tremendously. Jeff lives on in his wife, Kellianne Brausch; and his children, Keaton, Kiana, and Kamryn; his mother, Carolyn Brausch; his father, John Jeffrey Brausch; his stepmother, Sandy Brausch; his siblings, Renee Jordan and Shelly Roach; and his many beloved nieces and nephews.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24, 2021.