March 28, 1985 ~ June 24, 2020
Born in: Yuba City, CA
Resided in: Akron, OH
Brian Edwin Lee passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family on June 24, 2020 at
his home in Copley, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 35 years old.
Brian was born on March 28, 1985 to Stuart and Dawna Lee in Yuba City, California, where
he spent his early childhood. It was there that he learned to love the California weather –
something he never quite got over in his new home here in Ohio, to which his family moved
in 1997. He graduated from Copley High School in 2003. While at Copley, Brian was in the
choir, band, and played football. It was also at Copley that he met his future wife, best
friend, and partner-in-crime, Felicia. Brian then briefly attended Kent State University where
he studied Computer Science. He and Felicia welcomed their son Ethan into their lives in
2005, and were married that same year.
After being a stay-at-home parent to Ethan, a job at which he was magnificent, Brian
searched for somewhere to begin his professional career. He landed at Westfield
Insurance where he worked for nearly six years leading up to his illness. While there, he
met many people who had an immensely positive impact on his life. He counted himself
very lucky to have found joy in the work that he did. While Brian held multiple roles in his
time there, he felt most rewarded when he was part of their education team, and teaching
others was something at which he truly excelled.
Friends and family will remember Brian as someone who could light up a room. He always
had a joke to tell, a smile to give, and a shoulder to cry on. He could make a friend
anywhere, and put people instantly at ease with his quick wit and affable demeanor. Brian
was a phenomenal father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He was endlessly patient,
wise beyond his years, and a kind soul.
Brian loved music and had a wonderful voice – one of his favorite activities was singing
along with Felicia to as many of their favorite songs as they could think of in an evening –
usually to the detriment of their sleep. Brian was a lifelong San Francisco 49ers fan, was
happy to have “adopted” the Cleveland Indians after moving to Ohio, and after only minor
cajoling from his wife, became a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. An avid cook, Brian loved being
adventurous with food – trying new recipes, new restaurants, new cuisines – and always
trying to one-up Felicia in the kitchen. He knew he had become a true Ohioan when he
started running his smoker and grill outside in -20 degree weather. Brian was an animal
lover who enjoyed watching the birds, admonishing the racoons that stole the bird seed
(and once an entire bird feeder!), and doting on the family dog, Sammy. More than
anything else, however, he adored being a father and husband. Guiding and teaching
Ethan was something that came naturally to Brian, and he took great pride in the young
man that Ethan has become. His counsel, patience, love, and laughter is something Felicia
will dearly miss.
Brian is survived by his loving wife, Felicia, their son, Ethan, his parents, Stuart and Dawna
Lee, his brothers Jeff and Alex (Brooke) Lee, his paternal grandmother, Donna (Richard)
Moorman, his maternal grandparents, Don and Joan Cochran, his step-grandmother, Bobbie (Jack) Swanson-Cramer, his father-in-law, Richard Gallo, his sister-in-law Rachele (Dan) White, and his niece Evelyn White.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Carl Lee.
Felicia and Ethan would like to specifically thank Brian’s oncologist, Dr. Laurie Matt-
Amaral, his nurse practitioner, Erika Gross, his nurses at Akron General Cleveland Clinic,
Barb and Kim, and his entire hospice team. They fought hard alongside him during his
treatment, and made Brian’s final journey easier and more comfortable. For that, his family
is eternally grateful.
One of Brian’s favorite literary quotes, from John Green, was “Thomas Edison’s last words
were ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ I don’t know where ‘there’ is, but I believe it’s
somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”
A private celebration of Brian’s life will be held at Hummel Funeral Home in Copley, Ohio, followed by interment at Spring Grove Cemetery in Medina. The family welcomes Brian’s friends and coworkers to join them at calling hours on, Sunday, June 28, 2020 from 2PM to 5PM, also at Hummel Funeral Home, 3475 Copley Rd. in Copley. Covid 19 social distancing and face masks required.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Brian’s memory to the Pancreatic Cancer
Action Network (PanCan.org) or to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
Bri – I’ll see you on the flip side. I hope it’s beautiful.
A video of Brian’s Services can be found here.