On July 17, 2014, at 8 pm local time, our great friend and brilliant teacher Brian Shekeloff passed away at the Pupukea Morehouse in Hawaii.
He was truly loved and he deeply impacted the lives of many people; his humor delighted us and his insights cut to the bone. To his dying day, Brian continued to inspire us with his optimism and intent to live life to the fullest. Recently he said to Mary Ann, "Just make sure to tell 'em I was happy!"
Brian made it his life's work to study and live Vic's philosophy. He knew that the extravagant fun in his life came from his overarching position of surrender to Vic, of "saying yes." He had far more yesses than most people.
Brian was Vic's very close friend, student, and the first Morehouse teacher after Vic. Their collaboration produced some of the most important statements of the More Philosophy. In one particular instance Vic's answers to Brian's questions about love resulted in our course, Love For Sale - Half Price.
Brian was among other things, Editor-in-chief of the Aquarius magazine, housemother of 80, a favorite performer at the Waipuna, a calligrapher, a craftsman, and one of the best storytellers we've ever known. He surely knew the lyrics to more songs from the 30's through the 60's than anybody, and he woke up nearly every morning singing or humming one of them.
By the time Brian was over 60, he had had many fun and meaningful relationships, including a few marriages, the most loving and long-lasting of which was with Kassy. Vic had put Brian and Kassy together and she was Brian's great teaching partner and the mother of his much-loved son, Boris Victor Shekeloff. But he still hadn't found "the one".
So it was fairly late in life that he was blessed to find the love of his life, Mary Ann. Mary Ann fell for Brian during her Presentation in 1988 and kept her eye on him for years, but it wasn't until she moved to the Pupukea house to take care of Bob Klass' mother, Sylvia, in the mid-90's that they had the opportunity to spend time together and eventually fall in love. Brian never saw it coming! And Mary Ann's wildest dreams had come true. They discovered in each other a true partner and best friend. For Brian it was the profound connection he had been looking for his whole life. We were all so happy for them both - their joy in creating a family (which always included a beloved dog, usually named Miles after Miles Davis) spilled out for the rest of our community to enjoy and profit from.
Brian and Mary Ann partied until the end, even in and out of hospital rooms. When it became clear that the treatments and hopeful remedies had been exhausted, they opted for hospice. Mary Ann said,
"The hospice goal is comfort - they don't say 'fun,' but we do. There's actually a lot of relief in this. Priorities become ever clearer, and a lot of things go to the 'that can wait' list. Brian can eat, drink, smoke, and sleep as he wants, without me hounding him about what's good for him. He recently wrote to an old army buddy, 'As far as pancreatic cancer goes, so far, so good!' We are clearly on the short last leg of this part of our trip together. Brian says he learned about dying from the best - Vic, of course."
Brian lived just long enough to see the beautiful wedding of Boris and Sugar.
Brian & Mary Ann have been extremely grateful for the help, good wishes, fun communications, and the loving kindness they received from all their friends, especially their housemates at Pupukea who saw them through the end of his life and provided them with everything they needed and wanted.
He will be profoundly missed by us all.
In lieu of flowers, if you wish to memorialize Brian, please make a donation to The Private Sector Hawaii which feeds people on the North Shore of Oahu.
Videos of Brian
Some things Brian made
Some articles by Brian
How I Met Vic