A Tribute to Brian

Published :    By : Merle      Cat :    Comments : 2


From the desk of Merle Adams:

June 10, 2014 was a bittersweet day at Big Timberworks. We were saddened when we received the news that our architect/friend of 12 years, Brian Brothers at the age of 49, had died after a year and a half struggle with lymphoma. In a small way, we were relieved that Brian’s suffering was finally over. This “gentle giant” had wasted away to almost nothing as he struggled for each breath from his lungs that were filled with tumors. Extensive chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant failed to bring any relief from this very aggressive form of cancer.

Brian started with BT in 2002 after he had finished his architecture education at Montana State University, completed his internship working for other architects, and passed his licensing exams. Brian had gone back to architecture school later in life (he had 3 children when he started arch. school) after his initial college years when he did a 2 year stint at BYU in electrical engineering followed by another 4 year program in industrial engineering in which he got his degree. Brian told be before he died that he had thought about becoming a doctor like his father but he had ultimately rejected that idea because he didn’t want to go to school for 8 years. Brian thought it was ironic that ultimately he went to college for 8 years after deciding against the idea early on. 

Brian was a smart fellow and demonstrated time and time again that he was capable of using his smarts to figure out how to make things work while at the next moment he could be incredible creative in coming up with ideas and then making that idea look really interesting with a sketch. Brian’s passion was design…he was always interested in merging form and function together. You can see those results in many of the buildings and building components that we have made in wood, steel, stone, and other repurposed materials. 


Throughout BT’s history, we’ve employed many architects and designers. Our design-build environment has been a challenge for many because all design here is done in collaboration with not only our clients but with the BT team. Brian always viewed this a positive in that what he designed would be better since he listened to everyone involved in the process. The crew at BT always respected Brian because of his soft spoken ways, his wry sense of humor, and because Brian wasn’t afraid to pitch in and get dirty! Brian loved working in the metal shop and making all kinds of things from our vast array of bolts, brackets and scrap metal. 


When Brian came to Big Timberworks, he had been trained as a modernist. Big Timberworks had usually worked in traditional forms because of our links to ancient building methods. Over time, we found our own unique style together that honored traditional materials and methods but used them in a new and non-convential manner. Brian learned to soften his lines some with curves, organic forms, and experienced materials; BT learned to be fluent in other materials than wood and timber to create buildings and things in buildings that are not commonly seen. 


BT had a great partnership with Brian Brothers. We loved Brian and we loved working with him. You can see some of the results in these pictures that are shown. Brian left some big shoes (size 12 on his 6’5″ frame no less) to fill!  We’ll miss him greatly but we’re thankful for the good years we did have and for the many projects that we did together! 

Brian is survived by his wife of almost 26 years, Andrea, plus his daughter AndeeLyn (25), his son Qwinton (22), and his daughter Ella (19). Brian and Andrea just learned before Brian’s death that their daughter, AndeeLyn and husband Ryan, are going to give birth to their first grandson in November. Somehow the great sadness caused by Brian’s death may be replaced with great  joy with this new addition to the Brothers family in November! Yes, the cycle of life continually marches on!!!



2 thoughts on “A Tribute to Brian

  1. Thanks Merle. Great Tribute. Love this guy. True “Renaissance Man”and Great Friend. Miss him.

  2. You will be missed. I loved your infectious smile and your big heart. I hope we meet again.