"Tell me, Muse, of the man of many ways..." (Richmond Lattimore, The Odyssey)
D. Sean Brickell died suddenly on March 3rd, 2021. He was a proud native Virginian who continuously sought to experience the entirety of the world.
Sean lived his 69 years to their fullest. He was born June 1st, 1951 in South Norfolk to Betty Leggett Brickell and Dr. Edward. E. Brickell. He spent his youth captivated by music, listening to baseball and his idol Mahammad Ali on the radio. He also enjoyed the great authors of the past and Marvel's Silver Surfer, while often traveling with friends to surf. He was a proud ODU graduate.
A natural love for literature led Sean to write music reviews for the Virginian Pilot. He later authored and published several books including On this Day in Rock and Roll, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Metal Lunchboxes, as well as The History of Sports at Westpoint. He read at least 1 book a week for the entirety of his adult life.
Other than literature his interests were many: art, music, food, surfing, baseball, gardening, traveling, and people. His collections consisted of lunch boxes, books, art of all genres, fishing rods, music in all formats, guitars, and music memorabilia. He showcased these collections throughout his home and his office. Some permanently reside at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC.
As the South East Representative for Atlantic Records in his early career Sean had experiences which would later become legendary. Among his fondest memories was being inducted as a Blues Brother by his friend John Belushi. He was given the nickname "Rebel" for his Virginian heritage. He would recite stories from these times complete with his signature hand gestures and accents which masterfully kept the attention of any audience. His wit and sense of humor were quick and brilliant.
Sean spent most of his career in Public Relations as the president of Brickell & Partners. He loved what he did and always said he never worked a day in his life. He was president of HRADA (Hampton Roads Automobile Dealers Association) and held service with ATAE (Automotive Trade Association Executives) nationally. His accomplishment rewards are too many to list in their entirety. However, a select few which he was most proud of included the Public Relations Society awarding him with one of only 34 Silver Anvils for his work on behalf of the City of Virginia Beach. He received a Crystal Award for the world's top Internet site at the time on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders. Lastly was his induction into the Public Relations Society of America's College of Fellows. With fewer than 600 lifetime members this is the highest honor anyone of his profession could hope to receive.
The love Sean had for his hometown was profound. He was active with The Neptune Festival serving as a past Triton and Chairman, all while offering his services pro-bono. He was the recipient of The Outstanding Young Citizen Award in 1990. Sean was a founder and lifelong part of the American Music Festival. He did work for The Norfolk Tides, CHKD, St. Mary's, Portsmouth Amphitheater and the city of Virginia Beach itself to name a few. As president of the Hampton Roads Automobile Association (HRADA) he was proud to help make the Virginia Beach Auto Show one of the top auto shows in the nation.
His contributions went much further than just locally though. Sean gave back to many communities through his membership and involvement on multiple boards. Among them, was his help in founding Harmonium, a non-profit which provides services at music festivals to people in recovery from alcoholism and addiction. He was particularly passionate about this project. Often volunteering in person at festivals around the country he humbly helped countless others of all ages to establish and maintain their sobriety. Even in his late 60s he would stay up well past midnight enjoying music of every genre. He was a living example to this community that sobriety is not the end, but instead a new beginning.
He is survived by his wife of 30+ years Robin (Bean) Snyder Brickell and their three children: Alex Snyder and his wife Jessica, their children Connor, Sean Oliver and Eleanor, his daughter Lesley Snyder Shook and her husband Deryn Shook, their children Alex, Samantha and Trystan, his youngest son Edward Quentin (Q) Brickell and his sister Heidi Ulrich and her children Rachel and Jacob. All who knew Sean will miss him. But, as one of his favorite bands, The Grateful Dead, once sang, "you know my love will not fade away."
The family will receive friends Wednesday March 10 from 6-8pm at HD Oliver Funeral Apts. 2002 Laskin Rd. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. In Lieu of flowers and food the family asks that donations be made to Harmonium: www.harmoniuminc.org
or to: TOGoNETWORK: togonetwork.org
. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com