In Memory

Brook Firey

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08/10/19 09:26 AM #1    

Chris Leman

Brook Firey was a brilliant and good-hearted person with a great sense of humor.  While I regret not getting to know him better when we were younger, he was a wonderful colleague (and huge asset) on CHS's first High-Q team which competed against other high schools on KGW-TV in Portland.

Brook was a devoted fan of the original Star Trek series, and although he should have been the High-Q team's captain, it was his idea (which the rest of the High-Q team instantly adopted) to make the younger Marv Kirk the team captain, so that we could address him as "Captain Kirk".

I remember Brook's easy laugh as he told a story from a camping trip that his family took with another OSU faculty family.  Brook's father was about to start cooking the camp meal, upon which the colleague cracked, "You may griddle when ready, Firey." 

Brook, rest in peace.   

08/13/19 07:02 AM #2    

Wynn Fischer

Brook was indeed a brilliant and kind hearted person. He also was a guy with the patience of a Saint when it came time to help out a under achieving classmate who because of the luck of  having (or in Brooks case, the unlucky of having ) a last name starting with F.

For some strange reason , I had a extraordinary  number of classes with Brooke,and sat next to him in every one. We  were lab partners in science,teamed up for reports and other projects in many other classes,and team mates in P. E. (where I could be the go to guy for a change). I will always remember him with his head mildly shaking,(and that famous Brooke Firey smirk) in total disbelief as he would calmly explain the part of the question asked that I was still not understanding.

I  also have this  memory of he and I in the 9th grade discussing the effects of second hand smoke and the consequences of tobacco use in children of smokers. His arguments were so compelling I used them often  in lectures and speeches all over the country as an executive for the American Cancer Society many years later as they proved to be amazingly spot on! I wish I were able to tell him to his face how much I admired him,and valued the time spent with him. Rest in peace my friend..



08/14/19 10:32 AM #3    

Jane McCauley (Thomas)

I had many classes with Brook, who was always interesting and a bit quirky.  I remember walking home with him along Garfield, probably pushing my bike.  Brook was trying to calculate how many pennies it would take, lined up, to reach from Highland View to his house on Witham Hill.  The last time I saw him, we were up at the Lemans' house.  Brook talked about his wife Pat, who was doing some belly dancing - he had learned to play bongo to accompany her.  He could have had a brilliant career as a scientist.  I believe it was a brain tumor that put an end to that. 

08/14/19 06:48 PM #4    

Light (Robert) Bryant

I only very vaguely recall Brook, so I can't add very much.

As Jane and others have already said, he was very bright and rather distinctive (quirky). Today he'd probably be labeled a nerd, but he seemed pretty comfortable with himself, self-confident, and not very susceptible to doubt.

08/15/19 05:19 AM #5    

Bruce Freund

Brook became my next door neighbor on Sylvan Road when his family built a new home on the lot just down hill from ours and across Forest Drive from John Overholser.  You might say our end of the street was 'quirkier' than average, but we did pretty well.  Two things that the Fireys, in general, and Brook in particular I recall are: 1)They had a one story house built, so our ground floor looked out to the west over their roof.  But since our house was designed and built first without knowing what might be built next to us, my parents left out all windows on the west side of the ground floor (where my bedroom was) and 2) Brook LOVED bouncing a large red rubber ball (like used in those 'predatory' games of dodge ball) in his carport LATE into the night (well past 10PM) just on the other side of the bedroom wall.  I actually got to the point where it bothered me when he WASN'T bouncing that ball - I counted bounces instead of sheep!  He was scary knowledeable and seemed painfully introverted, but had a wonderfully solid world view.  I never saw Brook after CHS, but carry fond memories of our discussions in his carport with him bouncing his ball and I sitting on one of their swings attached to the carport ceiling.  One last thought: Brook's younger sister, Abby, was another scary smart kid, whom I always think of when seeing Wednesday of the Addam's Family.  Brook, rest in peace, my friend, you've left us too soon.  It's been my honor to share your initials!

08/15/19 11:31 AM #6    

Janet Phillips (McKensey)


Your mention of Brook's sister got me curious.  Looks like she is at University of Kentucky.


08/15/19 10:39 PM #7    

Jane McCauley (Thomas)

Thanks for posting this, Janet!  I'll listen to the Podcast later.  I visited Abigail in England during the early 1980s, when she was doing her PhD at Cambridge.  We spent a very pleasant summer afternoon outside on the lawn at the university.  But my main memory is a child, crying in the distance - my own daughter, stuck in the bathroom!  

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