June 1, 1951 - May 21, 2017
Brian was born in Winnipeg. His family moved to Prince Albert in 1962 and then to Edmonton in 1966 where he completed high school and university. In his youth, Brian loved football and played for the Edmonton Wildcats. He attended university in Edmonton and a year in Edinburgh. Since 1982 Brian has lived on a beautiful forested property on the North Saskatchewan River. There he continued his Baba’s, Gigi’s and parents’ tradition of organic vegetable gardening. He loved his animals—dogs, cats and horses—and those animal companions gave him unconditional love in return. He was most at peace in his garden, on sojourns down to the river, and annual horseback treks into the mountains of the Willmore wilderness.
Advocacy for the environment and for a greener future was Brian’s life work. In 2000, he was recognized as a “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine for his environmental activism. Time described Brian as a “radical in the best sense of the word” and captured his unique qualities as an activist: “a 48-year-old bear of a man brimming with can-do enthusiasm, will try almost anything to help push humanity toward a greener future,” a description of Brian which still evokes knowing smiles.
Throughout his adult life, Brian was an inspirational leader in the environmental movement, contributing to many organizations locally and internationally. Most recently, he was enthusiastically promoting green building design and construction. His courage, love of life, humour, and his unwavering commitment to creating a better world are enduring legacies which will lovingly continue to nourish our memories of Brian.
Celebration of Brian’s Life
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Sunday June 18 2017
Old Timers Cabin
9430 Scona Rd NW, Edmonton, AB
All I can think about is the asparagus. Brian’s beautiful asparagus. I visited his beautiful place one spring and we were working in the garden and I had never seen such an awesome asparagus patch. We talked about its history, picked it and ate it. Brian died just as the first asparagus was coming up in my own garden where I have finally achieved my own homesteading dream: a garden that is now reaching the size of Brian’s and that was my dream when I was at his place. I feel he is here with me, talking to me through the asparagus! And I mean really talking to me. Since the news of his death, I have thought about him every time I go out to my wonderful garden.
Brian was also a man of great generosity. When my dad died in 2009 I was a mess and Brian let me stay with him to recover. I was there for over a month, in the dead of winter, knitting, thinking and wondering how in hell he could be charging around outside in -30 in a sweater! And he worried about me. For all his gruff exterior we all know Brian was a man with a huge heart. Rest in peace my friend. Love to you, your family and to all of us who carry memories of your life.
Donna and family
Our sincerest sympathy on the recent passing of your brother. Remember the little things – his laughter, his stories, his smile. Cherish all your memories.
Donna and Family,
My sincere and deep condolences to all of you.
I met Brian about two years ago when I decided, after moving into this area, to go and meet my neighbours. Brian was cooking a pot of borscht that day and invited me to stay for soup and a glass of wine. While there Brian showed me pictures of his Willmore adventures and told me so much about his life. Brian and I had much in common so the time passed very quickly that evening. After that evening I visited as frequently as I could even though Brian was often called away for work. A few months later my precious poochie, a pom named Diesel, passed away and I was inspired to ask Brian if I could put Diesel’s little body to rest at his place. Brian gave me a bear hug and let me cry!!! Brian, being the animal lover that he was (is) told me to take my time to pick a spot anywhere I felt was right. I did find the perfect spot and called Brian over to confirm…so Diesel’s body occupies a spot between two spruce trees on the edge of a meadow. Brian was too busy to maintain a garden so I took him fresh vegetables over the summer and fall. It seemed so little compared to the generosity and kindness that Brian bestowed upon me. Although I do have a text from Brian on my cell phone giving me permission to go to his property anytime, I have been cautioned to keep out! There was never any closure in Brian’s and my relationship and my poochie’s body is there. I do understand that Brian dedicated the property to a Society as a Wildlife/Natural Habitat. Can any of you grant me permission to go there as I desire to ‘talk’ to Brian and visit my Diesel’s grave? I thank you for a response.