Brett David Daniel, 26, of McCordsville, IN, passed away Sunday, December 5, 2010 at his home with his family by his side. Brett was born on January 17, 1984 in Midland Michigan to Diana and David Daniel.
Brett graduated as a National Merit Scholar from Hamilton Southeastern High School in 2002. From there, he attended Purdue University where he graduated with honors with Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. Brett continued his educational journey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was pursuing his PhD in Computer Science. He has published and presented a number of technical papers related to his research.
Brett was very positive and always happy and demonstrated to everyone he knew what it meant to truly live. He had a never ending thirst for knowledge and adventure and loved to share what he learned.
Brett was preceded in death by his birth mother Diana Kedzie Daniel, grandfathers Robert L. Daniel, Henry E. Lescale, Laurent J. Troxclair, and Dr. Robert W. Kedzie. He leaves behind to cherish his memory devoted parents David and Susan Daniel, sister Erica M. D. (Sean) Kepner, grandmothers Dorothy Daniel, Elaine Lescale, and Joanne Kedzie, and his loving girlfriend and best friend Yun Young Lee. He will also be missed by numerous aunts, uncles, relatives, and many, many friends.
Services for Brett were held Friday December 10, 2010 at 2pm with visitation beginning 2 hours prior at 12pm all at Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers-Washington Park North 2706 Kessler Blvd. W. Dr. Indpls, IN. Burial took place in Kessler Woods Natural Burial Ground at Washington Park North Cemetery.
Friends and family were invited to provide a few words in tribute to Brett. Reading how Brett has touched so many people, directly and indirectly, raised everyone's awareness of just how important his life was. Below are these tributes to Brett Daniel. Our lives are so much richer through our relationships with Brett.
I had the privilege of meeting you in your home a few times while I was over playing guitar with Brett. I want to express my condolences, Brett was a great friend and it was a blessing for all of us to see him grow up to be a great man. I wrote [this poem] in the afternoon I was informed of your son’s death. I almost read it at the funeral, but thought it would be best to leave the podium to those who knew Brett better.
To redeem the moment I heard he was gone
The last thing I said to him
Was can I keep you in my prayers
He said I prefer you keep me in your thoughts
To show me that you care
I heard he told the preacher
I’ve lost my faith in God
He likewise told the Doctor to make the treatment stop
But the Lord intervened before he slipped beyond the pale
And spoke sweetly of salvation where other men had failed
I couldn’t create a good enough painting
To capture the look in a man’s eyes when he is fainting
The last thing I said to him
Was would you like some water from my cup
He said I’ll drink from the salty ocean to fill my body up
He said to the thunder
Please hold back the rain
If I get fresh water on my lips
It will just prolong the pain
But the Lord intervened, from his well he pulled a pail
And spoke sweetly of salvation where other men had failed
I couldn’t draft a tall enough building
To show the greatness of the healing
The last thing I asked him
Was will you visit me in my home
He said my friend you have a house
But home is where I’m going
He said to the Devil
You can keep your tempting lies
And said to the Maker
Please teach me how to die
And the Lord intervened before his body failed
Posted by: Jeremy Bohonos Dec 19, 2010
We had the privilege of living with Brett for a couple of months. From the start, he amazed us with his easy-going and optimistic attitude. We send our love to his family.
Posted by: Sarah Abu Sharkh Mountain View, CA - Ex-Roomie Dec 28, 2010
Brett is the most courageous and determined person I have known. Ever since I first met him his determination and work ethic was clearly evident. He always maintained a regular work schedule, going to his office in the morning and leaving in the evening. This discipline and methodology ran through all aspects of his work and life. Brett had an unbounded thirst for finding out how things worked. This inquisitive spirit was the driving force behind many of his hobbies and interests. Brett never once complained about his long battle with cancer. He lived life to the fullest all through the battle. During the summer of 2008, by which time Brett had a prosthetic leg, we were gym buddies and went to the gym every other day. He bench pressed more than me. That summer he would also bike to work when he could and also invited me to go rock climbing with him. All of us are going to sorely miss Brett, but his life and memories will always inspire us.
Posted by: Vilas Jagannath - Friend, Colleague, Rommate Dec 16, 2010
Sue, Dave, Erica and Troxclair and Daniel Families, Bill and I were so sorry to hear about Brett's passing. We have been praying for him and the whole Daniel family. He continued to live life to the fullest in spite of his illness and that was an inspiration to everyone. My Dad, Henry Lescale, loved Brett and was so touched by Brett and his strength both physical and emotional. I believe that Brett's strength passed on to Dad and helped him as he battled with his own cancer. I'm sure that Brett is in a better place where there is no pain but only love and joy prevail. Our prayers will continue for you all as work through this loss. God Bless You All. Love, Lynn and Bill
Posted by: Lynn Lescale Culton Dec 10, 2010
I was one of Brett's nurses during his first round of treatment. It was evident even then that he was an outstanding young man with a bright future. He had talents at many levels, but his best was his easy-going personality no matter what he was faced with. I check his website frequently to see how he's doing. I had a feeling today about him, so I checked this afternoon and found the news. My condolences to all who knew and loved Brett...... Paul, RN
Posted by: Paul Baker, RN Dec 10, 2010
Brett, "amazing" just isn't enough to describe how brilliant and talented you were, or your incredible strength, or the passion you had for everything you did. You are deeply, deeply missed.
Posted by: Kristin Chicago, IL Dec 10, 2010
Dave - I am deeply saddened to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.
Posted by: Mukesh Patel Dec 10, 2010
It was with great sadness that Fernanda and I received this message. I had the chance to meet Brett during the course of a bit more than a year when we shared the same office at the University of Illinois. During this period Brett always showed passion for his work and the will to help his colleagues. It took me a while to realize that Brett had a serious health problem. I started to follow his web page and admire him even more. Brett is an inspiration to all.
Posted by: Marcelo d'Amorim Recife - colleague at Illinois Dec 10, 2010
Brett was my friend, and we entered together in 2006. I always imagined graduating with him, getting hooded together. Even when he got diagnosed again, he seemed so indestructible - not graduating with him never seemed like a possibility. Looking back on our friendship, the thing I most remember is how Brett could work magic. Not tricks, but real magic. If you came to him, with a problem, cool idea, or well anything - he would stop whatever he was doing (because he honestly cared about you), and address that thing you brought to him. Could be a coding question, which he would answer and tell you 10 ways to do it better, and easier. But I could show him a new website design, or logo design and he could comment and give amazing feedback. Or when I would show him a new song idea, he could take a few chords and lyrics and in no time flat, write an amazing lead guitar or base line. But always modestly say "ehh, I am just tooling around." But for everything, political, academic, athletic -
Posted by: Joshua Hailpern Urbana, IL - Friend Dec 10, 2010
Throughout his years at the University of Illinois, Brett was a continuous inspiration for me. Just seeing him through the department, battling cancer, surviving and being full of contagious joy, meant so much to me. Whatever problems I was passing through seemed so insignificant in comparison with what Brett was going through, and that was enough to cheer me up. Three days before he passed away, I asked him how he managed to remain joyful throughout his ordeals. He gave a lot of credit to the support that he received from his family. He also told me that he wants us to continue to inspire and bring joy to those around us. This is his legacy to us.
Posted by: Danny Dig Urbana, IL - Professor in his PhD Committee Dec 10, 2010
Brett was one of the kindest and most full of life people I have ever met. He will be missed and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Posted by: Hannah Davidson - High School Classmate Dec 10, 2010
Brett, you're on your way to new adventures now, and I'm sure they are wonderful, but, hey, we miss you, man, we miss you here.
Posted by: Dr. Chuck Denison Jensen Beach, FL - Friend/Pastor Dec 08, 2010
Dave, I just wanted to let you know you're in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by: Kristen Allen Dec 08, 2010
Brett, You were one of the most optimistic and inspiring person i knew. My heart goes out to your family. you will be missed greatly! Rest In Peace. Love, Kim
Posted by: Kim Lamond Noblesville, IN - friend Dec 08, 2010
Dear Sue and David I am so sorry to hear the news of Brett's passing. No words can even express how much my heart goes out to you and your family. You have been in our prayers and will continue to be in our prayers as you go through this difficult time. Dan Sikes and Family
Posted by: Dan Sikes Indianapolis, IN - Friend of Mother Sue Daniel Dec 08, 2010
With sympathy from Brett's entire Kedzie family, a Memorial Mass will be offered for him at St Anthony Claret Catholic Church, Anaheim, CA on Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:30 a.m. A gift has been sent to St Jude Cancer Research Hospital, Memphis, TN in his memory.
Posted by: NANA Anaheim, CA - Maternal grandmother Dec 08, 2010
I remember Brett as a junior high and high schooler at church. What an amazing, gifted young man he grew up to be. He blessed so many and touched their hearts, especially throughout his courageous battle. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you Sue, Dave, Erica, Dottie, Lynn, Richard, Heather, and the rest of your family and friends.
Posted by: Leigh Ann Erickson - Friend of the family Dec 08, 2010
Family we are extremely sorry for your loss, our prayers will be with you
Bill and Cathie.
Posted by: Bill and Cathie Kalb Garland, TX - Second cousin Dec 08, 2010
Dave, I just found out of the passing of Brett. No words could describe the loss you and your family must be feeling at this time. I wanted to let you know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I remember you speaking to me of your son often and the stories of him were always extremely proud.
I ran across these words from a poem and wanted to pass them on in remembrance of your son. "God looked around his garden and found an empty place. He then looked down upon the earth, And saw your tired face. He put His arms around you, And lifted you to rest. God's garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best." Take care Dave. The VandenBussche Family
Posted by: Paul VandenBussche IN Dec 07, 2010
Dave, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. While I never had the opportunity to meet Brett, I want you to know that through your stories about him, his courage and his battle, he served as an inspiration to me on how to handle adversity. You are in our thoughts and prayers! Brian Stevenson & Family
Posted by: Brian Stevenson Austin , TX - Dave's past co-worker Dec 07, 2010
The greatest tragedies of a lifetime are the loss of one's child and then a grandchild. Brett is forever in my heart, thoughts and prayers as is his mother, Diana Nana Kedzie
Posted by: NANA Anaheim, , CA - Maternal grandmother Dec 07, 2010
Sue, my heartfelt sympathies and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time. Brett - RIP. God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put His arms around you and whispered "come to me."
Posted by: Cynthia T - Sue's friend Dec 07, 2010
Praying for your family during this time and the days to come!
Posted by: Rick & Sharilyn DeCrastos - Acquaintance through HSE Dec 07, 2010
Dave and Sue, you are in our prayers and we ask that the Lord pour out His love and mercy on you, lifting you up, sustaining you, and giving you strength during these difficult times. No meer words can soothe your pain or loss, please just know that we care and are there for you both.
Posted by: Tim Wonnell - Friend of Sue Daniel Dec 07, 2010
Sue, No words are sufficient to express sympathy for the loss of a child. Brett was a bright spirit that has been welcomed into God’s tender arms. May the love of family and friends sustain you through the days and weeks ahead. The prayers and love of your Vertellus family are with you.
Posted by: Debbie Wesley Dec 07, 2010
miss you man!
Posted by: Landon DeCrastos McCordsville, IN - Friend Dec 07, 2010
The thoughts and prayers of the Gatewood family are with you and your family. I always remember you being a kind person.
Posted by: Brittany Gatewood Fishers, IN - Former classmate Dec 07, 2010
Praying for you and your family. May you rest peacefully in Heaven now after your amazing fight here on Earth.
Posted by: Erica Williams - former classmate Dec 07, 2010
I was blessed to have the opportunity to see you not to long ago. I will never forget your kindness and fearlessness. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. I miss you and I love you my brother. Geoff
Posted by: Geoff Tucson, AZ - Friend Dec 07, 2010
Erica, I remember your brother as a child and remember he was very inquisitive and happy, and very much loved by your mother. It saddens me that we were unable to continue this familial relationship and get to know both you as adults. I followed your brothers later life through his website and would have like to have been able to have him share his intellect and interests with my children. He will be missed. We wish your to know that your Mothers' family think of you often and wish you love and happiness in your new life. Please consider contacting us by email at this address firstname.lastname@example.org. we would love to hear from you and meet and reestablish our familial relationship. Love Your Aunt Jeannine
Posted by: Jeannine Kedzie Avalos Anaheim, CA - Aunt, Mother- Diana's sister Dec 07, 2010
Erica, We were so sad to hear of Brett's passing, We pray that he in the presence of our Lord with your mom. We send our condolences to you and to your Nana Kedzie for your great loss....we have continued to honor your mothers wishes and have kept you both in our hearts and prayers daily ...we are so sorry that with the passing of time we did not have the opportunity to visit with you as often as we would have liked...please know that your Kedzie family relatives think of you often. Aunt Claudia
Posted by: Auntie Claudia Omaha, NE - Sister of Brett's Mother, Diana Dec 07, 2010
Brett, I am glad I got to see you only a few months ago. We talked about how you were cosidering buying your dad's bike and modifying it so you could ride with the legs. We talked a lot, and you told me you had no regrets. There's so much I want to say but I said what I want ed to say when we saw each other last, that you are everything that we should aspire to be, you cared as much on the average day as any other, and you lived your life the best you could. You will never be forgotten, and never loved any less than this moment. Miss you brother.
Posted by: mark isbell fortville, IN - friend Dec 07, 2010
Brett, My heart aches for your family. I am so deeply saddened by your loss and cannot express enough how wonderful of a person you were to everyone you were in contact with. Truly an extraordinary man who will not soon be forgotten. May you rest in peace.
Posted by: Tonya Turner Fishers, IN - high school classmate Dec 07, 2010
Brett, I remember you from back in school as a person with an extraordinarily large heart. I am saddened to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to your entire family. May you rest in peace.
Posted by: Chris Moore Indianapolis, IN - High School Classmate Dec 07, 2010
My sincerest condolences to you all during this sad time. Sending love your way.
Posted by: Kelly McCullough Bannister Dec 07, 2010
Praying for you and your family.
Posted by: Brandon Caudill McCordsville, IN - Former classmate Dec 07, 2010
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Posted by: Maegen Trump Dec 07, 2010
I never got to meet Brett, but i hoped to over the 2010 holiday season.
Posted by: Nicholas Shinault - Future Cousin Dec 07, 2010
My hopes and prayers are with you always.
Posted by: Lynn Swiss - aunt Dec 07, 2010
We are sorry for your loss. Vinnie & Jenna Tagliabracci
Posted by: Jenna Jewell Dec 07, 2010
With heartfelt sympathy on your loss.
Posted by: Fran Carrico Pendleton, IN - friend of the family Dec 06, 2010
I didn't know Brett very well, but I worked with him briefly while he was a teaching assistant at the U of I Computer Science Department. Not only was he reliable, but friendly and courteous. He was also quite a talented musician, if I recall. My sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.
Posted by: Scott Cimarusti Champaign, IL Dec 06, 2010