Jan 24th 2003 - Mar 21st 2012
The story of Bri McQueen is one of love, sacrifice, courage and strength. Amidst many trials, she brought warmth and light to the lives of many through her life's song. From day one, Bri was a little princess who could light up a room with her radiant smile and infectious laughter which drew others to her side. All girl, and as the youngest, she was indeed the princess of the family. She was well loved and doted upon, and had all things beautiful and the nicest things a princess could hope for. Most importantly, she had a loving family by her side who stopped at nothing to make sure her last days were filled simply with Loving Bri. Although Bri's life story is few in years, it numbers volumes in the lives touched and made stronger by a young girl who absolutely loved the color, pink. Gone too soon, hearts will fondly remember her with love.
Brianna Nicole McQueen entered the world during unsettled times in our nation. The attack on 9/11 and the Iraqi War placed the U.S. in a vulnerable position along with the economy's downward spiral. In the midst of these ever changing times, Steve and Angie (O'Dell) McQueen had much to be thankful for. They celebrated the 2003 New Year with the blessed birth of Bri on Friday, January 24 at 1:17 PM on a cold, Indiana afternoon. With their family now complete, Bri added much joy to the hearts of her loving family. They made their home in Mooresville, Indiana where faith and community was an important part of their lives.
Stubborn from the start, it was that very stubbornness that would see Bri through days of struggle to come. At birth she was a little fighter, and succeeded in her aspiring role as a princess. From the beginning she had the classic princess attitude with a prim and prissy way about her. Quite evident, it was either her way or the highway! She shared a unique bond with her mother from early on, too. Bri spoke with her eyes, even as an infant, and her mom always seemed to know what her special girl needed and wanted. In days to come, it was Bri's eyes that spoke volumes for what her heart held.
Like every young girl who aspires to be a princess, Bri McQueen loved the color pink! Some of her favorite things included dancing, playing dress-up, putting on high heels, and wearing flip-flops. The youngest in her family, she was well loved and doted upon to her heart's content. Her room overflowed with the nicest things and reflected her girly-girl "pink" flair. The youngest of four siblings, she was raised alongside her brother, Derek, and sisters, Rachelle and Tori. Even though Tori was just over ten months older than Bri, Tori took on the role as Bri's protector.
Quite often when Bri ran off to play she could later be found by the bookcase with a stack of books she had already read piled high. She loved to read and her thirst for reading was rarely quenched. Always by her side and treasured was her toy poodle, Daisy, and their black lab, Shadow, whom she occasionally called, "Pea Brain"! What princess story wouldn't include dragons? Bri also cherished her two bearded dragons named Felix and Fiona, as well as her white goldfish named Oscar. As a third grader at Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Mooresville, Bri shared many friendships. She was well liked and her fun-loving ways were a delight to those who called her friend. During this important and formative time in a young girl's life, Bri's life and that of her family was forever changed.
After suffering from what was thought to be a upper respiratory infection, she began showing symptoms over the following weeks which were cause for concern. After being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, Bri bravely fought a 15 month battle with courage equipped with her undeniable princess attitude. Throughout this time, everyone, including children, were drawn to her and her fight for life. The entire community of Mooresville and beyond provided the strength of prayer and unconditional, loving support to Bri and her family through fundraisers, meals, and more. With faith as their guide, Bri's parents never left her side throughout the highs and lows of her illness. It was never easy, most importantly for Bri, who struggled with relentless procedures, and for her parents who watched as their princess endured so very much.
One of Bri's most exciting times included the day the black limousine came to her family home to pick them up for the ride to the airport. The look on Bri's face was priceless! Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, she and her family were able to enjoy a trip to Disney World where all dreams come true. They also took her to prom which was a time to remember. Until last October, Bri was able to attend school for at least half days. When she was no longer able to go to school, her teachers volunteered their time by tutoring her at home.
Bri's story began with a fight and ended with a battle of a lifetime. In the nine short years of her life, she touched the lives of countless people, not only through her illness, but through her sweet spirit and deep, heartfelt ways. She was a precious gift, if only for a short time. Diagnosed 15 months to the day her journey ended, Brianna Nicole passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 surrounded by her loving family at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.
Friday's child is loving and giving, and Bri's life was a testament to that very fact. With tomorrow's not meant to be, she is now resting in peaceful dreams and is once again the young, playful princess from days gone by, and forever remembered. Wise in many ways, Bri, above all, felt love's warm embrace from all who journeyed with her family in Loving Bri.
Along with her parents, Steve and Angie, Bri is survived by her siblings, Rachelle Lucas, Derek Lucas, and Tori McQueen, all of Mooresville; maternal grandparents, Steve and Debbie Verhines of Mooresville, Stan and Chris O’Dell of Mooresville; paternal grandparents, Karen McQueen of Mooresville, David and Norma McQueen of Franklin; niece, Jaelynn Lucas; uncles, Ryan O’Dell, Kyle O’Dell; aunts, Jennifer Dietrich, Sarah O’Dell, Denise Milano; many cousins and loving friends.
In honor of Bri and to celebrate her life, please wear her favorite color, pink or “The Loving Bri” t-shirt to her funeral service to be held at 2:00 PM Monday, March 26, 2012 at the Church at Mt. Gilead, 6019 E. State Road 144, Mooresville. Calling will be held from 1–7 PM Sunday, March 25, 2012 at the Mooresville High School South Gymnasium, Entrance #8, 550 N. Indiana Street. Burial will take place in White Lick Cemetery, Mooresville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Loving Bri Foundation, c/o Community Foundation of Morgan County, Inc., 250 N. Monroe Street, Mooresville, IN 46158. Please visit www.carlislebranson.com to share a favorite memory or photo of Bri and to sign her online guest registry.