This is where we are going to remember B's life
The world was blessed on February 18th, 1983, the day Brian Wesley Hilliard was born. He was born at Alexandria Hospital and was the 6th child born to his mother, Eileen. Brian was fortunate enough to grow up with a huge family, who was always happier when he was around. Brian had a special relationship with each person in his family. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Brian is how caring of a person he was. He could brighten a room with his sense of humor, his smile, his laughter...just his presence alone.
His mother, Eileen Reichler, his father, Tom Reichler, his older brothers, Rich Hilliard and James Hilliard, and his older sisters, Sherry D’Souza, Stephanie Redl, and Vicky Niblett, always spoiled him rotten. He so loved getting all the attention that the youngest always seems to get. So far Brian has 3 nieces, Alison, Becca and Emily and 3 nephews, Christian, Andrew and Noah, who love him so much. Brian was always playing with Christian outside or playing games with the twins (Becca and Alison), who he lived next door to. Brian would go to his sister Sherry's house just to play with the kids. Noah, Sherry's baby only learned to say "Uncle Brian" the weekend before his accident. He was always into them, which I think was because he still had the heart of a child. He is a true role model to them and they will continue to look up to the morals and values Brian taught them by his actions and how he lived his life.
Brian has 3 brother-in-laws, Duncan Niblett, Chris Redl and Sean D’Souza. Each brother-in-law had a close relationship with Brian, and Brian thought of them as brother’s way before any of the weddings took place. Brian was also close with his brother-in-laws’ families. Sean's brothers, Adrian and Warren were like older brothers to Brian over the years too. Duncan’s family have the fondest memories of Brian coming by to help out whenever they needed. So many times when Duncan and I were at his parents just hanging out, Brain would stop by and visit with the family too.
Brian has 2 first aunts and uncles, Joan and Leo Ward and Estelle and George Rauch. Brian's uncles loved Brian so much. His Uncle Leo showed him around the family land and taught him how to maintain it so he would be prepared to take over that responsibility for the land which was his to inherit. He grew up playing and watching sports with his uncles. Brian was always special to his aunts because he was the youngest nephew. Brian has a bunch of first cousins as well, Amy, Cindy (and Bryan), Debbie (and Jason) Susan, Chrissy (and Steve), and Sarah (and Giovanni). Being that Brian was always the youngest he got a lot of attention from the family. Amy has 4 kids (Mandy, Alexis, Stacey, Jesse), Cindy has 4 (Alex, Matthew, Abby, Jonathan), Debbie has 2 (Katlyn, Thomas), Chrissy has 3 (Tyler, Ashley, James), and Sarah has 3 (Amber, Makayla, Marshall); each of whom will miss out on the pleasure of growing up under their adoring Uncle Brian’s wing.
Brian grew up in Alexandria, VA and lived with his parents in the same house on Miller Drive his whole life. He went to Franconia Elementary School from Kindergarten to 6th grade and then moved on to Hayfield, which he attended from 7th-12th grade and graduated in 2001. He was on the wrestling team and very fit. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school Brian enjoyed music; he played the trumpet, percussions and was in an elite men's choir. He was really good at it and won a bunch of awards. Brian was an alter boy for a long time at St Lawrence Catholic Church on Franconia Road (from Elementary to High School). He also worked at St Lawrence Church in the rectory office in high school.
After he graduated from Hayfield he attended a technical college and started working with his brother James at Crosslink, an internet service provider. He worked there for a while then got a job at Clyde's of Tysons where his brother Rich is the General Manager. He went to Northern VA Community College for a bit too. In early 2005 Brian got his last job as a Senior Loan Officer with Calusa in Reston, VA. He was so excited to start working there and came to like his job a lot. He attended training and became certified in many states. He truly was becoming a man, just starting to discover who he really was and what he was good at right before being taken from us so suddenly..
Brian always had a good time. He found the fun in everything. He had so many friends, some that he has remained friends with since elementary school. Brian's friends miss him so much. He meant so much to so many people.
Ask anyone and they will know that one of Brian's hobbies was playing Paintball. He actually was quite good too. In or right out of high school, Brian's cousin Cliff, got him a job at Powerhouse Paintball and from that point on Brian loved to play. In 2005 he bought a new paintball gun. He had recently joined a paintball league and is sorely missed by his paintball buddies.
Brian loved the mountains and his family property in Highland County. Brian has been going up to that property since he was born. He always said how much he loved that place. Seven years ago he started co-hosting a yearly Pig Roast there with his sisters and brothers. Every year Brian would be so giddy with excitement for weeks before the week-long camping trip that drew so many of our family and friends (numbering in the 30s-50s). .
Brian had traveled around quite a bit. He has been to so many places in the US (like CA, FL, NY, NJ, PA, TN, NC, SC, etc.) and has traveled to Cancun, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland, and England. He loved to see different places and got so excited to take a trip anywhere. He loved to be enriched by other cultures and was a true world traveler.
Another great love Brian had was with cars. His first car was a Honda Accord and in 2004 he got a new car, an Acura RSX. He loved that car so much, it was his baby. He was always working on it and talking about what he was going to do to it next to make it better.
Brian was taken from us on the evening of September 7th, 2005. His death was so sudden; it was as if the earth shook with the intensity of the emotions felt by all. Those close to him could never have imagined the pain that this would bring.
His family and friends celebrated his life with a memorial mass on September 13th, 2005 at his grandmother, Mary Marshall’s, church, Blessed Sacrament, in Alexandria, VA. This was also the church where we had the memorial service for my grandfather who passed away in 1988. One of Brian's favorite colors was orange, so a lot of people wore orange that day. Brian was buried at Bethel cemetery, in Old Towne Alexandria, immediately after the mass, in the family plot next to his grandfather, his great-grandmother and his cousin. The procession was lead by a police motorcade, which was about 10 policemen on motorcycles. We counted 62 cars in the procession line and the church was packed, so much so that people had to stand!
After the funeral, Brian’s family and close friends gathered together that evening for a bonfire hosted by his parents and sister, Steph, in his memory. All of the immediate family (grandma, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.) was there and most of his other family along with all of his friends and his sibling's friends (who were his friends as well). The night was spent sharing memories of Brian and just hearing from each other about how Brian had touched each of our lives. We started a memory book that night and hope to keep gathering memories for this book.
Brian was the person that everyone knew they could call on when they needed and he would do any favor asked of him. He was the person to call when you needed a ride, when you were broken down on the side of the road, when Grandma had a doctor’s appointment and needed someone to take her, when you needed something hauled it would be Brian you called to come help. He was the one that did everything around the house for his parents, if you were going out of town it was Brian you would call to house-sit and pet-sit; if his sisters needed a night out it would be Brian they would call to come babysit, and the list goes on and on. The bottom line is that Brian was so dependable and always willing to jump in and help without a second thought. He is missed in more ways than one.
Each day is a struggle to get through knowing that Brian is no longer of this world but the one thing that any of us can still learn from Brian is how important people are in life. Your family, your friends, the people you work with, even the people you buy gas from everyday, all come into your lives for a reason. The love and support we have received from everyone we know has been incredible. I want to thank each and everyone of you for being there for my family. Your love is what is getting us through this hard time.
...I will keep adding to the story as I think of stuff (please help out if you can!!!!!!)
The following was taken from the prayer card from Brian's memorial mass:
I’d like the memory of me
I’d like to leave an echo
I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
Your life was love and labor,