Bryan M. Barney thumbnail

Bryan M. Barney

October 9, 1983 - February 11, 2017

Life of Bryan – with a “Y”

Memories of our beautiful son and brother – Michael, Jill, and Lauren

Bryan always was a homebody, and that included not really wanting to leave the womb.  Mom pushed for two hours, with Dad excitedly saying “I see the head!” – but the rest of him just didn’t want to bu…read more

Life of Bryan – with a “Y”

Memories of our beautiful son and brother – Michael, Jill, and Lauren

Bryan always was a homebody, and that included not really wanting to leave the womb.  Mom pushed for two hours, with Dad excitedly saying “I see the head!” – but the rest of him just didn’t want to budge.  So much for natural childbirth – it was off to the delivery room for a little help.  He was born at 12:01pm on October 9th, 1983 (the day his Dad was supposed to be running the Lakefront Marathon, for which he had trained for months…Bryan had other plans).  After all that effort, Bryan looked more like a little man than a newborn, with a full head of red hair and a narrow face.

Bryan was a snuggly baby, who quickly turned into a curious toddler.  He loved his Johnny Jump Up and his first word (other than mama and dada) was “ca” with a finger pointing to the street as a car passed.  His passion was set early.  His other passion, which did not accompany him to adulthood, was vacuum cleaners.  Can’t explain the fascination, but a trip to Elliott’s Ace was never complete without a stop at the “vaci cleaners.”  He would simply stand and stare at the large assortment of vacuums.  So cute!!!

Dad and Mom made a snap decision to purchase a lot on Lake Arrowhead and our first trip to our lot happened the summer of Bryan’s first year.  One weekend of camping in a tent and we purchased a small trailer, which provided many, many weekends of joy for the family for years to come.  One weekend as we were star gazing, Bryan pointed to a star and said he wished for a baby sister – the following December, along came Lauren.  Bryan was a bit disappointed that she just sat there and couldn’t play with him, but he soon learned how to make her laugh, and probably cry sometimes.

Our neighbors at Lake Arrowhead were Al and Barb Rehbeck, who really became alternate grandparents to Bryan and Lauren – Al even built them a mini golf course in his yard and pretty much catered to anything they wanted.  Barb had a steady supply of Dum Dums in her kitchen and the kids bee-lined over there immediately upon arrival.  They were wonderful friends to all of us.

In 1990, the Barneys moved to Elm Grove and a whole new world opened up for Bryan and Lauren.  Westover Road supplied lifelong friendships for the whole family, and an idyllic environment you could only dream of.  Summer evenings of capture the flag, and summer days of creating hideouts in the woods and riding bikes (or go-carts) – it was perfect!  But Bryan liked his own bed at night and when a friend would call and ask him to sleepover, he would quickly cover the phone and ask Mom to tell them he couldn’t.  He loved them, but really wanted the comfort and security of home.

We had some wonderful family vacations, from summers at Lake Helen with Grandma and Grandpa Guenther and Uncle Jack to adventures in Florida, San Diego, and Vancouver – each one special in its own way.  In Florida, our “free” trip that Mom won turned out to cost Dad an arm and a leg because the hotel we won was not habitable.  Because it was Easter week and Florida, hotels were at a premium and we found ourselves hotel hopping all week – three on the Disney grounds alone…  San Diego found us on the beach staying at the Hotel Del Coronado (with REAL elevator operators and a great coast for finding water creatures); we loved the zoo, too!  Vancouver had us out whale watching and perhaps the best part for Bryan and Lauren was the night Dad and Mom had dinner plans and they had an evening to explore the area on their own.  It was a time of bonding for them as they became partners that evening (instead of their more usual adversarial roles).  As Bryan matured, he and Dad had great times on the annual Canadian fishing trips with Uncles Al and Steve and cousin John – perhaps the most fun were the shore lunches!  The best was the shore lunch that was prepared back in Elm Grove with a large contingency of Bryan’s friends enjoying the fruits of Bryan’s and Dad’s labors that year!

Bryan worked hard during high school to save money for a car.  His first job was church custodian, where he became close to Judy Kolstad and Pastor John.  He then became a produce clerk at Pick’n’Save and later, the new Sendiks.  He really enjoyed his work and made many friends.  During his stellar grocery years, he created many concoctions in the back prep room and had a lot of fun – he never worked too hard…

Finally, enough money for his first car – a stick shift ’95 Escort.  Dad had parked it in the garage and Bryan, of course, could not wait to drive it.  Dad and Mom were doing dishes when they heard and felt a huge bang.  Rushing to investigate, there stood Bryan and Lauren surveying the damage – the side of the garage was pushed askew of its foundation.  Bryan was very upset, but Dad was quick to grab a sledgehammer and right the garage.  The dented quarter panel lasted the life of the car…   This seemed to start a theme for Bryan.  In an incredibly short period of time, a deer “hit him” – twice.  Then there was the evening driving Mom’s Taurus jam packed with 5 passengers (never mind the 1 passenger rule), and getting hit on Moorland and Bluemound by a car running a red light…  Life was always exciting with Bryan around.

He thoroughly enjoyed high school (not the school so much as the friends he made).  Almost all of his present day closest friends were friendships that began at Brookfield East.  There was a large group that spent much time together – often in our backyard.  Most people consider themselves lucky to have one or two close friends – Bryan had many – they all meant so much to him, and do to this very day.  It’s unusual to build so many lasting friendships in high school.

Bryan went off to college at UW-Milwaukee, though were it not for a desperate phone call just after leaving the house to find out which way he had to turn onto I-94, he might have ended up at UW-Madison.  Directions were always a struggle for him – there was the day he was driving north on 124th – destination Sussex – and when he got to Capitol Drive, he headed east.  When he reached his Uncle Jack’s neighborhood in Milwaukee, he realized he must have made a wrong turn…

After one year of partying and consuming a lot of beer and liquor, he “decided” not to return to UWM in the fall.  WCTC became a better fit for him and he found his passion for electrical engineering.  With his Associates Degree in hand, he found work at GE Medical, Yaskawa, Milwaukee Tool, and most recently Generac.  He truly loved his work.

In 2010, Bryan took notice of the older sister of his Sendiks co-worker, Andy.  After teasing Andy about his interest in Andy’s sister, Cassie, Bryan finally got serious and started making an effort to spend time with her.  Bryan quickly fell in love with Cassie, and they made plans to purchase and fix up a house in New Berlin.  Bryan and Cassie had a well-balanced relationship.  Her tidiness countered his messiness, her quiet and calm countered his loud and outgoing, her love of Prince countered his love of 2Pac.  She truly brought out the best in him, and they both preferred being together to being apart, finally realizing that they were true soulmates.

Bryan was loved by all for his great sense of humor and his deep commitment to his friends and family.  He always befriended the kid who was struggling.  He was loving and compassionate and deeply emotional.  He had a beautiful heart and we will all miss him so.

We know he was greeted by his Grandparents – the Barneys and the Guenthers, his cousin Adam, Barb and Al Rehbeck, Dave Skiba, and other extended family members.  We take comfort in knowing they are all with him in a better place.  Though his physical body is absent, Bryan is present with our Lord.

Rest in Peace…

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Service Information

Visitation Information

Krause Funeral Home Brookfield

Address:

21600 West Capitol Drive
Brookfield, WI 53072

Date: Monday, February 20, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Krause Funeral Home Brookfield

Address:

21600 West Capitol Drive
Brookfield, WI 53072

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time: 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Service Information

Krause Funeral Home Brookfield

Address:

21600 West Capitol Drive
Brookfield, WI 53072

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time: 10:30 AM

Cemetery Information

Graceland Cemetery

Address:

6401 North 43rd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53209

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time: 12:00 PM

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