At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Kylie's Education Fund
P.O. Box 1328
Portage, MI 49081
Please make checks payable to: Schnurstein Family ALS Fund and note Kylie's Education in the memo.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Brian Schnurstein would agree that there was no one who met him and left unchanged. He was vibrant, fun-loving, and spirited with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Although Brian accomplished so much of which to be proud, he was a humble and gracious man whose family was his greatest source of pride and joy. Life was not without times of struggle for Brian, but his courage, strength, and spirit were an inspiration to all who were near. He will certainly be missed, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that will remain a lasting treasure in the hearts and lives of all who were blessed to know and love him.
It was as the 1980s were dawning that Ray and Wendy Schnurstein were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as Fall began to appear on the skyline of the city of Wheaton, Illinois. This was the decade that brought us the camcorder and basic gaming systems like Atari while Michael Jackson and Madonna topped the pop music charts. Their wait was over on September 18, 1980, when their nine pound, ten ounce “fire plug” made his grand entrance in Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois. They named him Brian Mark and he was a delight right from the start. He was a loving child who was never any trouble to his parents. Brian was one of three boys and was raised alongside his older brothers, Ray and Steve. He enjoyed being with his family, and some of his favorite childhood memories were made vacationing together.
During his formative years, Brian perfected his drive to succeed through his athletic involvement. He was a feared competitor in every sport he participated in, and both of his brothers challenged him beyond his typical age level, which meant that he was roughly two years ahead of his peers in his skill level. Brian was particularly successful in football and wrestling from the time he entered both sports when he was just eight. As a wrestler he joined Villa-Lombard Wrestling Club, gaining experience in in state tournaments. Later on, Brian dominated in baseball, hitting numerous home runs and often striking out player after player on the pitching mound. When he was only ten, he played on Team Illinois in the Continental Amateur Baseball World Series in Iowa when his team finished third in the nation out of about 20 states. As a result, Brian was named to the elite tournament All-Star Team. In addition to sports, he also dabbled in drawing.
Brian continued his baseball career in high school and college. He was also a strong safety on his high school football team, playing on two of their state championship teams. Brian wrestled for his high school as well. He went on to be a four year starting pitcher at Millikin University and a two time All-Conference pitcher. During this time Brian lead the CCIW Conference in strike outs and held the school record for the most innings pitched at Millikin. As a freshman, he pitched a complete 5-2 winning game against the number one rated team in the nation.
Someone who was also driven in the classroom, Brian earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Millikin University and Masters in Business from Western Michigan University. This was the foundation for a successful career. Right out of college, Brian worked at LaSalle Bank in Wheaton, and then after brief careers at Bosch and Hewitt, he moved to Michigan and took a job with Stryker where he was very successful in just a few short years. Brian was with Stryker for eight years.
There was nothing better than when Brian met the love of his life. Her name was Lindsay, and they met while in college. After dating for a time, the couple soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to make a life together, the sweethearts were married on April 30, 2005, at First United Methodist Church in Jackson, Michigan. Together they were filled with unspeakable joy with the birth of their daughter, Kylie Bryn. Although Brian often cited Kylie’s birth as his favorite day, he was quick to say that he didn't view his wedding day as second, rather, his wedding day was the day that started it all. Their dog, Rudy, rounds out their family of four beautifully.
Brian was a family man through and through who loved having fun with his loved ones like on his honeymoon in Hawaii, a family trip out to Colorado, and at the Annual Family Camp in Pentwater. His favorite place to visit was New York City, and he went three different times, including once with Lindsay, once with his brothers and friends, and once with Lindsay, Kylie, and his parents. Brian was active in the lives of his nephews and made a point of cheering them on in their sporting events as often as he could. He also savored the fun-filled moments on the lake with his family.
Throughout his life Brian was a bustle of activity. He played on the Stryker softball team, was part of the annual golf outing in his hometown, and he was also an artist through his drawing and more recent poetry works. As a spectator, Brian loved all sports, but his heart was with the Chicago teams: Bulls, Bears, White Sox, Blackhawks, and even the Cubs, which is a bit questionable. However, one of his favorite experiences was a Notre Dame bowl game. Among his favorite movies were The Departed, Shawshank Redemption, A Bronx Tale, and Family Man, and you could often catch him quoting a movie or watching comedy. A man of faith, Brian experienced his public declaration of baptism on May 8, 2015.
All who knew Brian would agree that he was truly extraordinary. He loved life, and making others laugh was one of his greatest gifts. Brian was funny without even realizing it, and he loved to joke around with all who were near. He was smart, had an amazing memory, and was detail oriented. Brian was level headed and strong in his convictions, which made him such a great leader. Although he was a quiet at times, he was contemplative, and he was not one to sit around and wait for life to happen - he went after it.
Although he is described as a peacemaker, a wise leader, and a successful athlete, artist, and member of his community, it was Brian Schnurstein’s roles as a husband and father that will be his lasting legacy. His strength was unwavering, and his faith was an inspiration to everyone he met. Brian will be deeply missed, but his family and friends find comfort in knowing that he is enjoying perfect peace in his eternal home.
Brian Schnurstein died May 19, 2015, in Kalamazoo. Brian’s family includes his wife, Lindsay; 6 year old daughter, Kylie; parents, Ray and Wendy Schnurstein; brothers: Ray (Anne) and Steve (Erin) Schnurstein; grandmother, Marian Schnurstein; father and mother-in-law, Dennis and Diana Hill; brothers-in-law: Brian (Angie) and Mark (Alexa) Hill; 6 nephews: Wilson, Carson, Joseph, Jameson, Edward and Bryson; and 2 nieces: Ellery and Evynn. Friends and family will gather Saturday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Valley Family Church Cathedral, (2500 Vincent Ave.), where services will be held at 1 p.m. Following the service, food and fellowship will be shared in the church hall. Please visit Brian’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kylie's Education Fund c/o Schnurstein Family ALS Fund or ALS TDI. Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler – Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (375-2900).