Brian Stewart

The following is an edited yearly repost in honor of our friend:

Brian Stewart

Brian was our next door neighbor – but we shared more than a lawnmower line and love for OU. He was one of those shining stars that attracted friendship and mutual adoration. I’d occasionally cook for him and keep an eye out for him through my kitchen window. He would scoop up my kids and race his scooter/wheelchair across my bumpy yard threatening to spill them all. He never did!! He was the ONLY person I’ve ever known to get away with calling out “Hi Sexy Lexi”. As his health deteriorated, Lexi still visited. As his sight deteriorated and he slept a lot, he would recognize she was there. She would color pages for him and his mom Jan would put them by his pillow. Brian suffered from a brain tumor and it eventually took his life. He died on April 16 and his funeral was April 19, 2005.

Last year, we were in Oklahoma and visited Brian’s gravesite. The kids LOVE sitting in the grass that Jim (Brian’s dad) so carefully tends. It is an oasis in otherwise somber setting. Nicholas read the verse on the back of the headstone out loud. We left our “business card” on the little stone the kids put there years ago. In the car, Lexi listened to “I Can Only Imagine” and “You Lift Me Up” – songs sung at Brian’s funeral. She still calls those “Brian’s songs”

His memoriam reads: Jason White had a simple explanation for how Brian lived his life. “He fought for a long time. When people gave him weeks, he turned it into years.” Stewart, the self-proclaimed No. 1 fan of Oklahoma’s 2003 Heisman Trophy winner, died Saturday at his Tuttle home. He was 29. Stewart, who befriended White as a volunteer coach at Tuttle while White attended school there, was diagnosed at the age of 15 with a brain tumor. During White’s Heisman season, he spoke of how inspirational Stewart was to him. Stewart said the same about White. “He’s definitely left an impression on my life,” White said. “His attitude on life, you never knew anything was wrong. He turned everything negative into a positive.”

I remember one day seeing Jason’s car pull into Brian’s driveway for a regular visit. I was the typical “fan” and later asked Brian what they talked about all that time. He said “Nothing, we just watched TV”. He laughed at me for being starstruck – and later some of OU’s finest would honor Brian with a final trip to the Orange Bowl and at his funeral service.

The memories we carry of Brian’s generous spirit, his positive attitude and his thoughtfulness will last for years. He remains an inspiration to our family – and I’m sure to the kids in Tuttle whose lives he touched. We miss you buddy. I’m glad we get the chance – and pray that Heaven is everything you dreamed it would be. Jan and Jim – you are in our thoughts today too. Love you all.

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4 responses to “Brian Stewart

  1. As I was reading this tears came to my eyes, It made me think about watching going over to the school on his scooter as all the kids would run up to him, and the smile on his face was is something I don’t think anyone would forget, He was a good person and I don’t think anyone will forget him.

  2. This is awesome Kim! You did a great job of honoring and remembering your friend!

  3. I am a St Jude Mom. I was at St Jude for a check with my son back in 1995.(my son also had a brain turmor) I picked up some research material with a story about Brian.This young man inspired us and we wanted to know more about him. My husband and I also saved the artical because we wanted to keep up with Brians progress with the gene transfer therapy. We were in such hopes that the new gene transfer therapy would work. All of these years, I haven’t been able to find out anything, so I filed the story away with all of my special memories. I was just going through some of the things and found it. I decided to google Brians name and city. I was hoping to find that he was now a Dr or Lawyer.. or maybe even had a family. I was so sad to find out that he passed.

    I hope that you can pass along to his parents that this beautiful young man still touched my life today as I read his story in the August 1995 Corridors.

    Fara Middleton
    Still a ST Jude Mother

  4. sounds like a wonderful man. made me cry. god bless youand your family.

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