Brian Keane Johnson, 58, died Friday, Sept. 15 at his Clarklake home after a brief illness. He was born July 29, 1959 in Adrian, Mich., to Harvey and Jeane (Conlin) Johnson. He is survived by his mother, and his friend and partner, Anne Schepeler.
Brian attended a variety of schools including Vandercook Lake, Lumen Christi High School, Adrian College, Albion College, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan. He worked in many departments of state and local government, and was instrumental in banning the dumping of toxic waste from Canada and other states into Michigan waste facilities.
An active member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, he served on the Bishop’s Committee and on various committees with the Diocesan Council. He was a former member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jackson, Mich. where he was confirmed, and regularly attended St. George’s Anglican Church in Berlin where he lived for many years.
Brian was a brilliant man, he could read an entire book of 400-500 pages in a day, then recall every detail and have a very interesting analytical discussion about it, often making relevant interdisciplinary connections. Though he was not a musician, he was a passionate music lover with an almost encyclopedic knowledge of almost every genre; he especially enjoyed Baroque and jazz.
A man of many interests, he was particularly interested in earth sciences, astronomy, and ornithology. While still a student in high school he helped operate the Jackson planetarium and belonged to the astronomy club. He was a member of the Audubon Society, participating in the annual bird count for many years. Brian was also a member of Hidden Lake Gardens and completed the master gardener class.
He was particularly proud of achieving the Mason’s 32nd degree and was a Past Master in the Lansing chapter, a member of the Tecumseh Lodge, along with memberships in Lodges in Germany and Scotland.
A memorial service celebrating Brian’s life will take place Oct. 7 at 11 a.m., at All Saints Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. A luncheon will follow the service. Cremation has taken place and arrangements were handled by Borek-Jennings in Brooklyn. Memorials may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church and Hidden Lake Gardens.
“When [he] had passed, it seemed the ceasing of exquisite music.” Longfellow.