STANNARD, Brian J.
Of Kalamazoo Died April 25, 2013. Brian was born October 7, 1951 in Wyandotte, Michigan to Richard and Abigail Reed Stannard. Brian graduated from Plymouth Michigan High School in 1969 and from Western Michigan University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He specialized in programmable logic controls PLC in the manufacturing industry, including Ralston Foods in Battle Creek and HTSE, Inc. in Portage. His leisure interests spanned a wide spectrum - he especially enjoyed blues and R&B music and played the guitar and bass guitar; he enjoyed fishing and bicycling; he restored several motorcycles; and he was an active ham radio operator. A skilled woodworker, he made several pieces of furniture and all the trim carpentry, floors, windows, fence and deck of his home. He also enjoyed tinkering with machines - repairing cars, appliances, lawn mowers, bicycles, woodworking equipment, etc. He built beautiful stereo speakers and assembled his own computers. Most of all, he enjoyed sharing his expertise with others and rarely accepted more payment than a handshake and a smile for the many homes, appliances and vehicles he repaired.
Brian married Teresa Rice in 1984 and they had two children, Patrick and Kaitlin. He was a devoted husband and loving father. Of all his passions, none was greater than his love for his family. He adored his son and daughter as well as his many nieces and nephews, preferring spending time with them to anything else. No one could have been more enthusiastic about family events than Brian was, and he loved Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas most of all. He never missed his children's school or sporting events, and happily shared their accomplishments with his many friends.
A joyful extrovert, he made a connection with nearly everyone he met. He knew all his neighbors and learned the names and listened to the stories of store clerks, mechanics, medical staff, and those he met in clinic waiting rooms. He could be quickly found in any crowd by simply following the sound of laughter. Brian was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in June of 2010 at which time his doctor estimated he had less than a year to live. He sought treatment at the University of Michigan Cancer Center in Ann Arbor and dedicated himself to maintaining his health by combining aggressive therapies with vigorous exercise. He began in 2010 by running once around the block and in a few months was running 5-10 miles several times a week, participating in several events to raise money for cancer research. He ran the Kalamazoo 5k in May 2012 and finished in the top third of his age class. He also volunteered for a clinical trial in 2012 in the hope that the data gathered would assist in finding a cure for prostate cancer. He remained optimistic and resilient throughout his often debilitating treatments.
He spent his final day in his home with his family and close friends, listening to the voices of those he held dearest filling the house - a sound he loved more than any other. A brilliant intellect, Brian lived his life with humility, integrity, warmth, joy, and gratitude. He left us far too soon, but left a legacy of courage, love, and determination that will not be forgotten by those who knew him. Brian is survived by his wife, Teresa Stannard of Kalamazoo; his children, Patrick Stannard of Austin, TX and Kaitlin Stannard of Atlanta, GA; his mother, Abigail Button; sisters, Cindy Tom Birkhold, Jennifer Brian Harris and Elizabeth Lindsay Letcher; brothers, Kent Janie Stannard and Craig Theresa Stannard; and several beloved nieces and nephews. Brian is preceded in death by his father, Richard. At his request, a formal visitation and funeral ceremony will not be conducted. His family and friends will hold a memorial celebration of his life later this summer. Memorials may be directed to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.