Brian and Cecile Johnson's Memorial Funeral
1952 - 2010
Memorial Funeral Service
Trinity Episcopal Church
June 26, 2010
Family and Friends of Brian and Cecile Johnson gathered in Logansport, Indiana to celebrate the life and joy each of them brought to so many of us. This gathering of Love amd Remembrance was planned and organized by Brian's sister, Anne Elizabeth (Johnson) O'Leary. All of us who loved them so much appreciate all the hard work and effort Anne put into what became a "Celebration of Love". We came not only from Indiana but also from Tennessee (where Brian and Cile had been living), Missouri, New York, Virginia, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, and probably some other place I have forgotten.
Arrival in Logansport
We stayed at various hotels in this small Indiana town as we were competing with a State Girl's Softball Tournament for hotel space. Yet, we found time to gather together and remember times past as well as sharing dinner at a local restaurant.
David, Michael, and Tom
Mother, Joanne, David, and Anne
Mother, Sue, Douglas, Uncle Dave, George, Joanne, David Gregory, and Annie
That is my sister in front of everyone else.
David and the Gerni's
Douglas, Joanne, and David Gregory
We are not quite sure who this guy might be?
Sue, Douglas, Uncle Dave, and Mother
Ward and Sue
Meredith and Mark
Bruce and Michael
The Funeral Eucharist for Brian and Cecile was held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Logasport. Brian's father had been the Rector of this parish from 1969 until his death in 1977. It was also the sane church where Brian and Cile were married in 1992.
Tom Gerni who was one of Brian's closest friends when they were in high school assisted along with his brothers in providing some of the music during the Eucharist.
There was a Reception held in the Parish Hall hosted by the women of the parish after the service.
Mark, Ward, Maureen, and Many Others
Bruce, Roger, Anne, and (I think Meg in front of me)
George and ?
Sue, Doug, Maureen, Matilda, and Ward
George and Mother
Terry, Adam, and Jennifer
David, Tom, and Tom's Wife
Marynell and Children, Ward, Douglas, and Sue
Maureen in the Background (All of that is a Guesstimation
Michael, Joanne, and Uncle Dave
Douglas in the Background
Douglas Talking to Someone (Maybe James Bean?)
Jennifer and Marynell
Adam and George in the Foreground, Anne and Ward (Behind Them),
Douglas and Michael in the Background
Marynell, Jennifer, Adam and George
Riverside Park: Logansport, Indiana
It had been Bian and Cecile's expressed wish to have their cremated ashes placed in the Wabash River that runs through Logansport.
The Interment of Brian and Cecile
Officiant: The Reverend Father Douglas Peter Johnson
People arriving at Riverside Park for the Interment
Douglas prepares for the final part of the burial service.
The Wabash River
A Private Moment for Two Sisters:
Suzanne, Cecile's Sister
Anne, Brian's Sister
Opening Sentence and Prayers
The Dispersal of Brian and Cecile's Ashes in the Wabash
by Anne and Suzanne
People Departing after the Dispersal the Ashes
Anne wanted this Memorial Service to be a happy and joyoud event, so she planned a picnic in Riverside Park
after the dispersal of ashes. Anne made arrangements for a pavilion, Tom Gerni and Friends provided music,
the Woman of Trinity hosted and served the food.
Roger, Bruce, and Michael
Roger and Michael are two of Bruce's closest friends dating back to Fort Wayne Days.
Bruce met Roger through Boyscouts, Troop 45 at Trinity Episcopal Church - Fort Wayne in 1961.
Bruce met Michael at South Side High School in the Fall of 1964 when they were both Sophomores.
Roger now lives in New York City.
Michael now lives in Chicago.
Janie and Joanne about to share a hug.
It was also Joanne's Birthday which added a more pleasant dimension to the day
She is my mother's younger sister and my Godmother.
Cheryl and George Reingruber who became good friends from Brian and Cile when
they lived in Reston, Va. Cheryl was Brian's first secretary.
Then, of course, there is Michael and Roger.
Bruce, Douglas, and Susan
Davis Side of the Family: Jennifer, Adam, Marynell, Terry and Townshend Children.
Johnson Side of the Family: Scott and Leeann, Meg (now Margaret),
Meridith and Mark (Meridith is now Rice which becomes Johnson in June 2011).
David Obenchain and Tom Gerni both Logansport friends of Brian.
George and Mother
Ward, Cynthia, Dave, Joanne, Nancy, Anne, David, and Janie.
Anne put together this Photo Board.
Indulge your inner child with a ride on the Dentzel Carousel in Logansport.
The beautifully restored 1885 National Historic Landmark originally stood in Fort Wayne, but was relocated
to Logansport's Spencer Park in 1919. The carousel - carved by Philadelphia artisan Gustav Dentzel, and now
one of only three complete stationary Dentzel carousels in the country - operates in Riverside Park.
For only 50 cents, you can reach for the golden ring from your choice of 43 hand-carved animals and chariots.
The carousel is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day, then on weekends through October. Private group
reservations are available year-round.
While others were enjoying the Picnic, the Kids loved the Carousel.
This was a very nostalgic part of the Picnic - Brian when he was healthy was quite the "Piano Man". Brian enjoyed his music and he was a joy to hear. Logansport friends who had often played with Brian came back to remember him.
The Train was also popular with the kids.
Janie and Meg
Uncle Dave and Aunt Joanne
David Gregory, Bruce, george, and Michael
George, Adam, and Marynell
Marynell and Terry
The Picnic as well as the Music ended with "Will the Circle Be Unbroken".
That song was so appropriate in both a figurative and a lieral sense.
One of the struggles that I continue to struggle with is the fact I know "My Circle Is Broken" and the regret which has become a part of my consciousness is that I know there is nothing that I can do to change it or fix it. As much as he would let me, I tried to be a 'fixer' for my younger brother because I thought that was my responsibility. If there was anyone who was possessed by or fell victim to a 'wanderlust', it was my brother Brian. It took Brian ten years after he graduated from high school to finally decide that it might be a wise alternative to go back to school and earn a college degree if for no other reason than to increase the possibilities that life might have to offer him. Brian was a tree planter having to move often and live in the elements. I lent Brian a tent I owned and various camping equipment including an oven and lantern and various utilitarian items that allowed him the appearance of a near normal life. I had married a woman in Virginia who had no desire or inclination to camp. She took the attitude that staying at a 'Hotel 8' was the closest thing to camping that she ever wanted to experience. However, when I say I lent whatever to Brian that became a nebulous thought since the idea of reciprocity was never a part of our relationship. He also worked in music therapy at a State Hospital for the mentally challenged in Virginia. Brian made his way back to Indiana and came to Muncie when I was still at Ball State where he received training as piano tuner. He was a 'caretaker' for a period of time at a large estate outside of Lafayette, Indiana. Brian then finally decided to go back to school and was accepted at Purdue University in Lafayette where he earned an undergraduate degree in computer technology. This brought Brian to Northern Virginia where he found employment with one of the many computer firms located here. Those were the good years that led Brian to marrying Cile after reconnecting with her at a class reunion in Logansport. This was even after Brian had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The hideous reality of a chronic disease like MS is that it is degenerative with no cure. If you are fortunate, the disease will go into remission allowing a person to live relatively normal life (whatever that might be). Brian eventually had to retire on disability but he would also fall victim to the Health Care Crisis in this country where he couldn't receive adequate health care insurance because of a pre-existing condition. This is where I am going to end my story.
In the immediate days after Brian's death I attempted to deal with my grief by writing. Many of you have read these before but I am going to include them here in my fare well to Brian.
Bruce's Poetry and Short Stories
Return to Bruce and Bobbie's Main Page.