Brian, age 59, of Holt, MI, passed away April 5, 2021. He was born on November 24, 1961 to Jack and Joan Gaukel, in Lansing, MI, where he was raised with his brother, Barry, on Weger Place. He spent his childhood going on many excursions with his family throughout the country capturing many memories that lasted a lifetime. Growing up on Weger Place, he made many lifetime friends who he remained close to his entire life.
Brian pursued a career with the Lansing Fire Department, following in his father’s footsteps, and went on to obtain his paramedic license in 1984. Brian touched countless lives throughout his career. He worked his way up to fire marshal, retiring in 2008 after 25 years of service. He later inspired his son Adam to follow in his footsteps to become a firefighter/paramedic with the Lansing Fire Department.
Brian met the love of his life, Gena (Renz), while he was going though the paramedic program at Lansing Community College. They would marry and start a family, having three beautiful boys. Brian and Gena loved their time together, whether it was traveling, being with their family and friends, or working outside with the Kubota, which Brian bought for Gena’s birthday. He loved spending time with his boys. He coached then in hockey, took many fishing trips, and loved attending the monster truck shows with his son Alex. He spent many summers with his family at Houghton Lake, traveling to Disney World, and vacationing in the Bahamas, making many memories that they will treasure for always and forever. He was a hero and inspiration to his three boys.
Brian enjoyed late nights at the rink, playing hockey for over three decades. Playing goalie, he became a staple in front of the net while blocking many shots, although allowing one or two to slip by. He looked forward to ski trips out west every winter. He loved the feeling of freedom up high on the mountains and enjoyed taking in the beauty with his friends and son Austin.
Brian, known to his Cedarville Crew as “Papa G,” would attend Duck Camp each fall, celebrating their 33rd year in 2020. Brian looked forward to the trip every year. The many memories and stories will remain instilled in their hearts.
Brian was an idol to his son Adam, who started a family of his own, with his wife Allison. It was one of Brian’s proudest moments, finding out that he would become a grandpa to Blake and Shane, who fondly referred to him as “Packa.” He loved playing with them outside while catching them as they went down the slides, watching them ride their bikes, driving in their Hot Wheel Gator, and walking down to the pond and feeding the fish. He loved and cherished his grandchildren, and was so proud to be their Packa.
You will forever be “our” always and remain in “our” hearts.
Brian is survived by his mother, Joan; his wife of 26 years, Gena; children, Adam (Allison), Austin (Kelly Kuzara), and Alex (Kaylee Zeerip); grandchildren, Blake and Shane; brother, Barry (Lori) Gaukel; mother-in-law, Judy Renz; and cousin, Patsy Williams. Brian was preceded in death by his father, Jack Gaukel.
Visitation will be held on Monday, April 12, 2021, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, with a memorial service to follow immediately after, at 2:00 p.m. There will be a live stream of the service. You can view the service remotely by following this link: Live Stream
In lieu flowers, the family has asked that people make a contribution to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.