Brian Robert Van Schmus, age 56, passed away peacefully in the presence of his wife and sons, on Friday, January 22, 2021. Brian lived graciously and courageously, before dying of the disease of stomach cancer.
Brian was born August 12, 1964 to William Randall and Edna (Evison) Van Schmus in Pasadena, California. Brian lived most of his life in Lawrence, Kansas, attending Broken Arrow Elementary, South Jr High, and Lawrence High Schools, graduating in 1982. He attended Kansas University, where he was a member of the KU marching band and Acacia Fraternity; he graduated in 1986 with a BA in Political Science.
While attending KU, Brian met the love of his life, Nina Sibley. The two married at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence, KS on August 10, 1991. Soon their family expanded as they welcomed sons, Anthony and Devin. Brian relished the role of father and was tremendously proud of his boys. A parade of cats, dogs, hamsters, a horse, guinea pigs, fish and a rabbit made their home complete.
One of Brian's many superpowers was the ability to quote movie lines on the spot. He especially liked the classics such as The Blues Brothers, Monty Python, and The Great Escape. He took "Dad jokes" to a new level. His knowing smile and the twinkle in his eye were infectious and invoked many an eye roll.
Brian was a supporter of Liverpool Football Club (his mother's birthplace), the Kansas City Chiefs, and of course the Jayhawks. March Madness was his favorite season and remarkably his television always remained intact.
While Brian had many interests and hobbies, his involvement with the Boy Scout Troop 53 was very meaningful. He began his scout journey in Cub Scouts and worked his way up to Eagle Scout The troop made its initial trip to Philmont in 1982 with his dad as Scout Master, a trek that he would make again as Troop Leader with his own sons and then with a group of fellow leaders. He enjoyed the Boundary Waters and many other scout adventures. He was a Keeper of the Fire for the Order of the Arrow. Brian was among the 2% of members called to the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow in 2017.
Brian is survived by his wife, Nina (Sibley) Van Schmus (Lawrence, KS); Anthony Van Schmus and Devin Van Schmus ; parents William Randall and Edna (Evison) Van Schmus (Lawrence, KS); brother Derek (Pam) Van Schmus, sister Jennifer (Michael) Chartier; mother-in-law Carmela (Victor) Contoski; sisters-in-law Maria (David) Thompson and Gina (Rick) Gochnauer and brother-in-law Bruce (Jill) Sibley. He was the beloved uncle to Kelly, Emily, Molly, and Olivia. He also leaves behind his loving aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, poker buddies, history buffs, game night crew , scout OGs and Scotch aficionados (single malt, if you please).
A memorial service will be planned for later in 2021.
Brian always joked that when he died, he wanted to come back as a well-loved house cat; therefore, we ask that next time you see a kitty, give it a little extra love in his memory.
Memorial contributions may be made to Emprise Bank in Brian's name to support camping scholarships for BSA Troop 53, Lawrence KS.
Published by Lawrence Journal-World on Jan. 29, 2021.