We Remember

TODD, Brian Cyr

March 2, 1940 – May 26, 2022

We are heartbroken to share the news of Brian’s passing from a sudden brain hemorrhage on Thursday May 26. We were at his side in Kelowna General Hospital as he passed peacefully. We take comfort in the fact that we were able to hold his hand, play him a bit of music, and tell him that we love him as he transitioned from breathing to stillness.

Brian is survived by his wife of 57 years, Patricia; daughters Laura (Andrew) and Karen (Craig); grandchildren Beatrice, Georgia, and Ella; brothers Ian (Joan), Neil (Georgina), and Glen (Donna); and nieces, nephews, and extended relatives in Canada, Australia, and everywhere in between.

Brian was born at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. on March 2, 1940. He was the second of four boys to Ella and Alan Todd. As a youngster he played soccer and enjoyed outdoor adventures, including what was to become a lifelong love of fly fishing. He took piano lessons (which he disliked!), but it was discovering the trumpet that truly set in motion his love and passion for music. He joined the Kitsilano Boys Band and in 1955 was the youngest boy in the band to travel to England and Europe on one of their famous tours.

Brian attended the University of British Columbia with plans to become a fisheries biologist. He spent many summers working with the provincial fisheries department to support his studies. But music beckoned, and Brian switched from science to UBC’s Department of Music where he completed a Bachelor of Music with a focus in education. In addition to music composition and theory, Brian studied cello as a secondary instrument to trumpet.

During his first teaching job in Salmo, B.C., Brian was smitten with Ymir’s new primary school teacher. Patricia Tunnicliff was an adventurous, beautiful Aussie woman who had come to Canada to teach and learn how to ski. Brian and Patricia were married in St. Ives Church, Sydney, Australia in 1965. After a year back in Salmo, they moved to Kelowna B.C, where they built a home, raised two daughters, and embarked on long teaching careers.

Brian taught music at Kelowna Secondary School  for 35 years. “Excellence requires dedication” was his motto, and that philosophy earned his jazz and stage bands numerous first places in provincial competitions, and a gold medal at the 1978 Canadian National Stage Band Festival in Winnipeg.

Not only did Brian teach music to generations of KSS students, but he was active in the local music community. He was involved in musical direction for community theater productions; played trumpet and arranged for jazz quintets and big band ensembles; and made appearances on a local TV program for children’s music education.

After retirement, Brian continued to play trumpet and piano, and he also embraced his other interests: travel adventures from the South Pacific to Tuktoyaktuk; puttering around his home and tending to the garden; cooking extraordinary gourmet meals for friends and family; camping, sailing, literature, and reading the dictionary; correcting his daughters’ grammar; and thoroughly enjoying his food, wine and art.

Brian was devoted to his family. His dedication to caring for Patricia during her cancer journey was unwavering. He took great delight in both teasing and teaching his three granddaughters about the vagaries of life. Grampy made special ice cream sundaes for the girls, composed songs for them, and introduced them to the beauty of a paradiddle. We miss him so very much.

“Music is life itself” – Louis Armstrong

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favourite music or education organization, or to the BC Cancer Agencywww.bccancer.bc.ca.

We would like to thank the first responders, and the doctors, nurses, and staff in ICU at Kelowna General Hospital for their care and compassion.

A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

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Please consider a donation to your favourite music or education organization, or to the BC Cancer Agency. Link: www.bccancer.bc.ca

 


 


Condolences

  • Meg Zabielski says:

    Sending so much love your way, Laura and Karen. While I never met your father, I can see by reading this that his spirit shined in you and your girls! Lots of love to the whole Todd family.

  • Arluene King says:

    You must all be very proud of your father. Although I did not know him it sounds like he had a remarkable, fulfilling life and was very well loved. Sincere sympathy for your very sad loss.
    Arlee

    • Valerie Ferguson says:

      I had Mr. Todd as a band teacher in 1980 and 1981, he was hands down my most favourite teacher. He didn’t take any crap from us teenagers and always pushed me to strive for more. He always was available to help or give guidance in any way he could. I will always remember the hard work I put in and the joy of sharing music. I was a better flute player for having him as a teacher. So sorry for your loss, I bet he was an amazing Grampy and Dad.

  • Jolayne Hynes Bergen says:

    My deepest sympathies on the loss of your father I was a student of his many years ago he will be sadly missed 😔

  • Maureen Jonson says:

    Dear Patricia, Karen, Laura and family: I was so saddened to hear of Brian’s passing and have been thinking of you all as you grieve this sudden loss. Brian was my music teacher in his first years at KSS and was a significant influence on my career choice as a music teacher (and on the name choice for my son 46 years ago.) He was fun, understanding, gifted, demanding (in a good way) and just generally a very interesting person. Since hearing of his passing I have been re-reading the letters he sent from Australia and playing from the original copy of the piano accompaniment that he wrote for me for the song “More”. And I’ve been thinking of the the fun I had playing pranks with him (one with your help, Patricia – the arrowroot baby cookies caper.) I hope your memories and your gratitude for the privilege of living life with such a person will help sustain you in the days ahead. With sincere condolences and sweet memories, Maureen (Taylor) Jonson

  • Trevor Salloum says:

    Sorry to hear about the passing of Brian. He was such a great inspiration to many of us. I was fortunate to have him as a band teacher at KSS in the 70’s. I always enjoyed hearing him play around the clubs, especially at Merv Lepper’s Colony with Don Ross, Don Burnett, Ray Volk and many others. In the 90’s he played in my quartet off and on at Baileys Tabard and the Eldorado. He had a particular affection for Latin jazz which helped fuel my appreciation. Here is a photo from that time. My deepest condolences to the Todd family.

  • Lorraine Wyder (nee Goy) says:

    I was very fortunate to have Mr. Todd for my band teacher all through high school. Many memories from the classroom and from our competition trips will remain with me forever. Please accept my sincere and deepest sympathy during your time of sorrow. He may be gone, but never forgotten by all those students he taught. Class of 75 🙏

  • Wendy Jordan-Olive says:

    My condolences go out to the family. I was a very fortunate student at KSS to have Mr Todd as my band teacher. I have many fond memories and consider myself very fortunate. The world was better for having him here.

  • KSS Band Student says:

    For many of us in Grade 8 band at KSS in 1988, Mr. Todd served as an introduction into an eye-opening world of methodical dedication within the sphere of music. Mr. Todd was a wonderful educator, a huge asset to our school, and an immensely positive influence in our lives. Though I am saddened to hear of his passing, I am glad for my luck in having been able to learn from him. I send my sincere condolences to Mr. Todd’s family during this time of sorrow.

  • Maureen Wyatt says:

    Dear Karen, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. He was my band teacher in high school and I have never forgotten his kindness and encouragement. He obviously was a great Dad, as well, because he raised a beautiful daughter! Take care! Maureen Wyatt

  • Blair Bates says:

    Patrica and family. I am so sorry for your loss. Mr Todd as best known to us KSS students was the single most influential teacher I ever had. He had the ability to bring the best out of us even in our worst moments. And inspired so many of us to continue on as musicians and to believe we could be the best. He has left a legacy of greatness in so many of us.

  • Gary Dukelow says:

    Brian Todd was my favourite teacher, even though I wasn’t allowed to take band because of football. He made it work for me through the concert band. His passion for music and quality in everything that he pursued was significant, but even more powerful was his commitment to living his values as a dedicated educator, husband, and father – a truly honourable man. Thoughts and condolences to Patricia, Karen, Laura, and family.

  • Christina Swindells-Nader says:

    My deepest condolences to all of Mr. Todd’s family and loved ones. I feel so lucky to have had him as a teacher at KSS. He was wonderful at encouraging both a strong work ethic and a love of music in all his students, and he particularly encouraged me to get braver/louder when playing timpani, vibraphone, and auxiliary percussion, and to practice regular drumming with more dedication. At first I hated that my choice of instruments meant I was often standing up during concerts but he was encouraging and I got over it with practice. The ability to stand up in front of a group of people without freaking out has been a valuable life skill. I loved to hear him play and I wish you had all had more time with him.

  • Jackie & Dale Franklin says:

    Patricia, Lauren & Karen
    We were so saddened to learn of Brian’s death and offer our most sincere condolences for your loss.
    Brian & I were childhood friends, having grown up on Chesterfield Avenue in North Vancouver. We started school together at Queen Mary Elementary and shared many classes over the years until graduation in 1957. We enjoyed seeing him at Class Reunions.
    My husband, Dale, also knew Brian, as he played piano in a band with him years ago that was made up with other classmates as well. They made a record at the time, which we still have a copy of.
    It was wonderful to read all the tributes by Brian’s former students whose lives he influenced so profoundly.
    Brian was a gifted and wonderful person and we hope that your heartache and grief will be replaced by all the happy and cherished memories that you shared.
    Please extend our condolences to his brothers and their families as well
    Sincerely,
    Jackie (Thomas) & Dale Franklin

  • Sandi Knorr Walters says:

    Dear Mrs. Todd & Family: I was very sad to learn of the passing of Mr. Todd. He was my favourite teacher, and I am one of his thousands of grateful students. I attended KSS for grades 11 and 12 and was in Stage Band and Concert Band both years. We spent many hours rehearsing, both in class and extracurricularly, and Mr. Todd worked us hard, but I loved every minute of it. He set very high standards for us, and I like to think we occasionally met them. We never wanted to disappoint him. He was extremely patient, having us repeat the same phrase many times until he was satisfied, although I do recall a particular phrase in a Stage Band piece called “Fancy” that made him throw his hands in the air. I’m especially grateful to have been a part of “Spring Tour ’77” when the KSS Jazz Ensemble flew to Toronto to compete in the Canadian Stage Band Festival. Many thanks to you, Mrs. Todd, for being one of our chaperones, along with Dr. Doug Graham and his wife. I had the best time ever and it’s still one of my favourite memories. Mr. Todd has been in my thoughts often over the years. He left a lasting positive impression on me. My heart goes out to his family and all those whose lives he touched. Wherever he is now, there must be one helluva band! — Sandi Knorr Walters (Grad ’77, alto sax)

  • Robert Rantucci says:

    There are very few individuals who in your lifetime that
    have an effect on who you are . During my two years of playing in both concert bands and Brian’s stage bands at KSS I was exposed to a master teacher and later on in life a friend. Brian helped make me who I am today and gave me an appreciation of music and most importantly… myself. We all wanted to play our best for him and in turn he gave us all his passion of music and life. Thank you Brian ( Mr Todd). You were one of the best teachers I ever had and I will always remember you as a friend. Blow that Flugal horn and may you Rest In Peace!!
    Robert Rantucci grad 1983

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