Thursday, March 01, 2007

Brian Hosey

My big brother, Brian William Hosey, was born February 28, 1958, in Sisters Hospital in Buffalo. He was my big brother in all ways, in age, height (6-foot-6 to my 6-foot-3) and, in ways I didn't always pick up on right away, looking after my welfare and strength.
Brian died July 30, 1995, and will forever be frozen in time and in my eye and heart as my older brother, father, husband, teacher and coach. He was married to Janet (Rumsey) and they had three kids: Kimberly, Colleen and Daniel. Brian taught elementary and early middle school and was just about to start his first year as a principal when he died.
My affinity for sports (a hard working but not particularly talented athlete, my first job out of college was as a sports writer) came mainly from Brian, from competing against him in everything, particularly basketball (he had a sweet jump shot and played tough defense, but he couldn't jump a lick), and when he and his family packed up and moved to Apache Junction, Arizona, in the early 1980s, he got very involved in school and municipal youth athletics, ending up coaching the freshman and junior varsity girls basketball teams as well as coaching baseball, softball and basketball in recreation sports.
His competitive spirit (he was a major Boston Bruins and Oakland Raiders fan, but we did share a strong devotion to the Buffalo Braves) extended to brotherhood; he would mercilessly beat me up physically, on the field or court, and verbally, until I learned to defend myself. The two ways in which he conceded that I was somewhat grown up and able to fend for myself were when I was able to make my father laugh more than Brian (and making Ed laugh was a labor as a child) and when I pinned my brother wrestling; admittedly, I did have bigger shoulders and legs than Brian.
When Brian died in Apache Junction of an aortic aneurysm (he had suffered a stroke about a year before that and hid it from us, not sending us his recent photograph which showed the telltale signs of stroke), I was unable to go to Arizona for the funeral, because my grandfather William Hosey was still alive and living here; my parents, Edward and Sheila, were able to go to the services there, while we held a memorial service here. I admit that I still have unresolved feelings, at least partly never feeling I was able to say goodbye to the brother who I shared a bedroom with for 16-17 years and who I greatly enjoyed talking with over the telephone on birthdays, holidays and major family events.
I can also attest to the fact that parents should never have to bury their children; Ed and Sheila were never the same after Brian's death. It was the first time I saw my father cry, and the only other time I saw him cry was when his father died a couple of years later. I suppose the fact that my father died of a massive coronary in April 2004, a day after he suffered a stroke but seemed to be doing good under the circumstances, and again without me being able to say goodbye, increased and mixed up the unresolved feelings I had, and I also saw my mother go through more pain, confusion and loneliness than she deserves.
I have always responded strong to death and not only held up and functioned well myself, but I have been able to help relatives and friends in their times of need. While I have been commended and thanked for it, I am not sure if it is because I can help other people or because I somehow go on automatic pilot and compartmentalize those feelings.
I hadn't expected to write all of this; I really have never written about my brother's death in detail, not having the proper outlet before. But Val's strength, encouragement and experience with going through some of these same things has helped open the gates. The fact that my mother and I attended a memorial Mass for my brother at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Depew Saturday, our home parish, also helped.
Some day, I hope to visit Apache Junction, particularly the new baseball, basketball and other sports and recreation park that was named for my brother and where his ashes were spread, and maybe I'll get to meet one of the Brian Hosey Youth Award/Scholarship winners and let them know a little bit about the man the award is named after, my big brother, Brian.


Anonymous Mike Miller said...

That was a beautiful tribute, Kevin. I'm so sorry for your loss.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous KevinP said...

It sounds as though he led a fine life, adding to the quality of the Hosey name.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Kevin J. Hosey said...

Thank you, Mike; I appreciate that. His loss is still strongly felt.

I appreciate your thoughts, Kevin; Brian certainly accomplished a lot in his 37 years, even if he was a Bruins and Raiders fan. And his name continues, because he now has a grandson, David.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I agree, Kevin. I'm so very sorry for your loss, and appreciate that you were able to write such a beautiful tribute to your brother.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Prego said...

I remember you telling me about your brother during one of our 'neighborly' chats.

I think you ought to take a trip down there one of these years and see your brother's scholarship presented. That'd be great. I started an annual award in memory of my mother to recognize 'outstanding academic achievement in English and Spanish'. I give it to a kid in our school each year to encourage bilingualism. I usually hold up pretty well during the presentation, but two years ago?

"Bwaaaaaaaaahhhhhh (sniff-sniff)."

11:51 AM  
Blogger Kim Hosey said...

Does serendipity work for these kinds of things?

This is Kim -- I'm working on my Master's in creative nonfiction, for which I was advised to "try something memoiristic." (Not exactly my forte.) So in adding details to a piece dealing with -- of all things -- unresolved feelings about my dad's death, I got online to try to check a few facts ... and ran into your wonderful post. The timing is pretty bizarre, at any rate. I did eventually find what I was originally looking for, but I found this infinitely more important to me -- as well as more illuminating, comforting and heartening. Thanks. I know he appreciated your company as much as you did his, even your differences of opinion in sports and politics.

David's all about getting to know him lately, through pictures and countless anecdotes. When I got married, we (David and I both) decided that he still should keep "Brian Hosey" fully as his middle name, and he's proud of the name. And David carries on the Hosey stubbornness (or is it the Brian Hosey stubbornness) quite skillfully.

Take care. Maybe we will see you out here some time.

3:26 AM  
Blogger heather said...

It's definitely Hosey stubborness. It will be carried on in future generations, especially by the males. Tom has to be one of the most stubborn......Anyhow, I have been finding myself in a funk starting in February, continuing into my birthday and finishing with the anniversary of Dad's death. Hmmm, Feb. Brian's b-day? So like us though, to write our feelings, although I was the communications major. Anyhow, I too share your feelings, maybe survivor's guilt too. But anyhow, it was a great tribute to Brian. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better, I am continuing to have digusting good health regardless of all of the weird diseases that go around an elementary school.

Take care and we'll hopefully see you next weekend, Heather

9:12 PM  
OpenID TJFronczak said...

Kevin and Heather. Tom Fronczak here. Now living in Rhode Island. Be in touch with me if you can. I am soooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry to hear about Brians death. My goodness. So very sad. Im so sorry for your loss. I liked Brian very much and am sad to hear this news. He was always such a good person to me. Tom
My brother Dave is at

9:08 PM  
Blogger BRIAN HOSEY said...

my name is Brian Hosey, and I am sorry for your loss. I may be related to you. Born in 1954,Plymouth Pa.My wife was janet,also. Spent my life in sports

12:07 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I was one of your brother's students. I just looked at the date and thought of him, randomly remembering that his birthday was at the end of February. I googled him to see whether it was the 28th or 29th, which led me to this post. He was a truly great guy.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kid,probably got the wrong guy,my older brother Donald Richard did some substitute teaching in pa. there are lots of folk named hosey,we came from Plymouth pa,and I've lived in ohio for35 yrs ,sorry

5:04 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Anon, I'm not sure who you are but I'm assuming the other Brian Hosey who posted above me? The Brian Hosey the original post was about was my teacher. I can say for sure it's not the wrong guy.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo,i am brian hosey and I am very much alive,hosey is a very common irish name,later alligator

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Casey Crisler said...

I know this is an old thread but I just came across it while searching the web for old memories. I worked with Brian in 1987-88 at a local toy store in Mesa, AZ. At the time, he was waiting for a teaching opportunity to come up. He made it a fun place to work. We discussed everything from politics to music to sports. I remember he was a big St. Louis Cardinals fan (Tim Raines and Vince Coleman were a couple of his favorite players). As well as a Beach Boys and Hank Williams Jr fan. I went to Nashville for vacation and brought him back a set of Hank Jr. suspenders. He wore them as part of his costume at the store on Halloween. A couple of times he invited me and some coworkers over to his newly purchased home for a friendly game of poker. Brian was such a pleasure to be around. He had a wonderful sarcastic humor about him. Never missed a beat. Even when we teased him about his Buffalo accent. I was saddened to hear about his passing but am glad you shared your memories of Brian for all of us.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Joshua Winn said...

I was also a student of Mr Hosey. He was the male role model in my life. I did not have a dad when I moved to Arizona as a confused hurt boy and he was the first person to put a lot of time and effort into teaching me how a man should act. He taught me how to respect the girls I went to school with and that has stood in my life to this day. He was my basketball coach as well as teacher and that was the last time I had the chance to see him. He didn't come to a basketball camp he was helping run that I was apart of, which was out of the ordinary for sure. However he did come in the gym right in the last few minutes of the day and I was able to talk to him one last time. I remember it all very vividly even though I was only 13 at the time. I have never really coped well with a lot after this happened in my life. I really did think of and respect him like a father figure that I never had. I know Colleen and Kim may never read this, but I just wanted you to know that even though I distanced myself from your family from that time on, Mr Hosey really did mean the world to me. I think about him very often and cherish the memories and lessons he taught me.

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Joshua Winn said...

I left a response below, but I just wanted to let you know, in the time I knew Mr Hosey he was most definitely a huge Bills fan. His classroom was full of bills gear and the flag football team he coached my 6th grade year was even named the bills. So at least know that he came around. It was also the time period where the bills went to four straight super bowls so I'm sure that didn't hurt the home team spirit rising up.

3:40 AM  

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