Brian Russell
(1972 - 2011)

Brian Russell

June 6, 1972

April 12, 2011

This site is dedicated to Brian Russell.

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Guest Book (2 entries)
14 April 2011

Dear Beth and Keith,

Although I must admit I have almost no experience with the loss of family members, my hope is that I can offer some of my memories of Brian from the perspective of someone that had Brian as the only other male cousin that lived in Utah.

My first memories of Brian are when your family moved to Utah, from New Mexico I believe. Although I admit I was initially confused about the difference in skin color, I immediately thought he was "cool" and was happy to see him when we visited each other's homes.

My closest neighborhood friend moved out of state when I was in fourth grade, and after that the only friend that I felt comfortable enough to have a sleep-over with was Brian. I remember one such sleepover where Brian showed me to my top bunk in his basement room. It was winter and Brian handed me a flimsy sheet to use as my blanket. I thought it was rather odd that it was freezing and alii had was this lousy sheet. That night as the hot air blew directly from the heating vent that was only inches from my torso I was cursing Brian for giving me such as thick sheet to sleep with.

On a family campout to Capital Reef, Brian, Dan, and I noticed a pond off in the distance during an afternoon hike. That night after the sun set the three of us proceeded in the general direction of the pond. The trek to the pond proved more difficult than originally estimated, and it took well over an hour to get there. By the time we arrived it was pitch black with no moonlight available. We set up our fishing gear in the dark mostly by touch and supplemented with brief bursts of light from the sale flashlight Brian had borrowed from your campsite. He was sure you would never forgive him if you knew he had it. It was our only source of light and we weren't overly confident of the battery's remaining life. After finally casting our lines the three of us sat in total darkness, slightly spooked but even more afraid to admit it to each other. Within about ten minutes all of us seemed to be getting several small hits on our lines, but nobody could ever seem to hook a fish. Finally Brian busted out the flashlight. I'll never forget what we saw when he turned the light on. Surrounding us and our fishing lines were hundreds of bats swooping down toward the water and hitting our lines, I guess thinking the echoes from the lines sounded like insects to them. Scared to death we reeled in our lines and sprinted back toward camp, over rough terrain and in complete darkness. As we crossed the creek that bordered the campground I dropped your flashlight that I was now holding into the rushing water, and although we searched diligently we could not find it. I felt awful for losing the flashlight and was scared of how Aunt Beth would act toward me. Brian promised me that he would take- any blame if you happened to recognize the loss. It was an expensive wall-rechargeable model, and I'm sure you noticed it missing, but Brian must have held true to his word because I never heard anything more about it.
During my early teenage years, let's face it, I was a social dweeb and Brian wasn't. Once Brian and a friend of his (that could drive) invited me to a Salt Lake Gull's game downtown. It was one of my first
"Guys Night Out" experiences and it meant more to me than he ever knew. I was with my cool cousin and desperately wanted someone from my school to see me there with the two of them.

Fishing was one of our favorite activities, and after one of many unsuccessful trips he recognized my disappointment and took me to the creek next to the fish hatchery in Springville. It was considered cheating by most fishing standards, but we actually caught fish and didn't have to tell people we came back empty yet again. He didn't have to do this, but he did it because he wanted to help.

Once we were playing with guns (air guns) in your back yard. He told me the gun he was using was my dad's old BB gun. When it was time to leave my dad came out in the back yard to get me. I told him Brian's gun was his old gun. As you know my dad usually isn't the sentimental type, but we caught him during an unusual moment of weakness. He asked Brian if he could keep the gun, and although I could see Brian was not thrilled with the idea, he recognized my dad's anxiousness, shrugged his shoulders to cover the disappointment in his loss, and handed over the gun. I can't honestly say that I would have returned one of Keith's thirty year old possessions that was now deemed as mine, but Brian showed respect that day.

Finally, after he returned from his mission, Brian did something I have always admired. He did what he wanted to do and to hell with everyone else. I spoke with Brian once when I was visiting Utah after he returned from Chicago, and he told me some of the experiences of his mission. He didn't want to be the stereotypical Return Missionary, so he did what he wanted to do. I loved Utah and would have preferred to stay there at one time, but if I chose to act a certain way I didn't have the courage to face the disapproval of my family and peers. Brian had courage.

There are other miscellaneous memories, such as when he nearly beat up a neighborhood kid who was making fun of Layna on her bike, driving to Scofield Reservoir at 3:30 in the morning in your favorite Dodge minivan, and playing video games with him on the Apple lie in your bedroom. I still fish using a particular knot Brian taught me, and every time I drink Cherry 7-up I think of Brian driving me to the Mountain Springs truck stop off 1-15 in Springville because he knew it was my favorite drink. The thing these memories have in common are that I was able to share my life with him, my cousin and my friend.

Eventually life seems to take us all in different directions. But I hope that some of my memories of Brian will help bring him back to you and to celebrate his life from a different perspective.

With Love,
Eric Loveridge (cousin)
April 20th, 2011
This is the memorial I set up for Brian Russell. To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Arnold Loveridge
April 18th, 2011
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