Andrew Brian, died at 71 a museum field specialist, Obituary

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Andrew Brian Died at 71 – J. Andrew (Andy)  Brian of St. Francisville, IL., a museum field specialist died at the age of 71. The obituary for Andrew Brian indicates that he died on September 11, 2022, after a brief hospital stay. In Tallahassee, he was part of the curatorial staff for the opening of the Museum of Florida History.

Born on September 12, 1951, to Bill and Gerry Brian in Vincennes, IN., he grew up in St. Francisville, IL., where he enjoyed breakfast with his grandfather and playing small-town baseball with his friends. During his apprenticeship at his uncle’s cabinet shop, he acquired excellent carpentry skills.

During his freshman year, Andy earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Eastern Illinois University, where he met the woman who would become his wife, Jody. The couple got married on September 2, 1972, and he designed and made their wedding bands as poor college student. Additionally, he received advanced training from Colonial Williamsburg in museum administration.

As a museum professional, Andy had worked on exhibit design, production, and administration for more than 35 years. In his early career, he worked for Pensacola Preservation Board, restoring the trolley and constructing the facades of the Museum of Commerce. Among his duties was curatorial work at the opening of the new Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee.


His duties included restoring and furnishing the Old Capitol after he was appointed Capitol Curator in 1981. The Historical Museum of Southern Florida in Miami recruited him in 1985, and he advanced from Exhibits Director to President/CEO. Afterward, he returned to Pensacola after serving as Director of Chesterwood, a property of the National Trust in Stockbridge, MA. In his professional career, he was actively involved in numerous organizations.

In his workshop, Andy enjoyed tinkering with various projects. Despite his multi-tasking abilities, he was able to build, repair, and restore anything. A wooden canoe was being finished at the time. He had a good heart and a positive attitude. He was quiet, but when he spoke it was worth hearing. He was taken far too soon and is greatly missed.

Andy is preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Sharon Lee Gher; his brother, Randy Brian, and his brother-in-law, Bill Gher. He is survived by his wife, Jody; sisters-in-law: Janice Brian, Jan Golden (Keith), and Jill Youngblood (Felton); several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his cats, Bart and Nell; and dachshund, Lady Mac.

Plans for a Memorial Dinner are underway and details will be provided when complete. Donations, if desired, may be made in his honor to the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami, FL., 33130 (designated for Map Fair) or to Pensacola Humane Society, 5 North Q. Street, Pensacola, FL., 32505.

The family expresses sincere appreciation to MICU nursing staff and physicians at Baptist Hospital for the heroic efforts made during his illness.

For the Brian family, please share your memories and condolences at BayviewFisher-PouChapel.

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