James Edward Brian, aged 69, of Horton, Michigan passed away August 21, 2019 after a valiant battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends throughout his stay at the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home. Jim was a shining light to this community and will be deeply missed by all who have known him.
He was born in Columbus, Ohio to John G. Brian, Jr. and Mary Jeanne Edwards. His family moved from Ohio to New Jersey, then back to Ohio before settling in the suburban Detroit area. He attended Groves High School in Birmingham, Michigan and went on to graduate from The University of Michigan in 1972. That same year, he married Linda K. Garrison, his high school sweetheart. They married in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they lived for seven years before moving to Horton, where they have spent the past 40. He leaves behind the one true love of his life, his wife Linda, his daughter Lauren Kyser, son-in-law Eric Kyser, and two beautiful grandsons, James Christopher Kyser (Jack) and Henry Mitchell Kyser. He also leaves two brothers, John G. Brian III and his wife Barb, of Minnesota, and Jeff Brian of New Jersey. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Carolyn Garrison, of Valrico, Florida, as well as sisters and brothers-in-law and their children, and so many special friends, too numerous to mention here. He was preceded in death by his dear son Christopher James, as well as his mother and father.
Jim retired in 2013 after fourteen years of working for the United Way of Jackson County. He was previously employed at Consumers Energy for fifteen years. In his professional career, Jim also held other communications positions prior to that time. Jim was active in Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Jackson, Michigan, and will be greatly missed by his Little Brother Trystin Green. Jim and Trystin were partnered together for 12 years, and Jim was named Jackson County's Big Brother of the Year. Upon retirement, Jim and Linda traveled to many places including Hawaii, Maine, the Caribbean, Florida and more. An avid lover of music, Jim shared his musical talents both in high school and college, and later through community theatre. Even during his treatments, Jim would be seen with headphones, listening to his favorite songs, and singing along. Just one year ago, Jim was honored to kick off the Relay For Life and even wrote a song to commemorate the occasion, titled very appropriately, “Cancer Sucks.” In the song, he told us, “If you’re looking for a lesson in these words that I did write, start every morning with ‘I love you,’ and toast the sunset every night.” Jim and Linda made a point of toasting the sunset many nights, sitting on the end of their dock.
A memorial service will be held at the Michigan Theater in Jackson, Michigan on Saturday, August 31 at 3:00 pm. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their favorite college colors and invited to celebrate Jim's life with a tailgate party after the service. Memorial gifts can be made in Jim’s honor to the Chris Brian Memorial Fund at the Jackson Community Foundation; Relay for Life, Jackson County; or Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Jackson, Michigan.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.
Chris Brian Memorial Fund - Jackson Community Foundation
100 S. Jackson Street; Suite 206 B, Jackson MI 49201
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Jackson County
536 N. Jackson Street; P.O. Box 1802, Jackson MI 49201
Relay for Life of Jackson County - In care of the American Cancer Society
1755 Abbey Road, East Lansing MI 48823