Obituary of Brian J. VanGriethuysen
GATES - March 3, 2020. Brian is survived by his parents, Rhonda & John VanGriethuysen; sister, Heather (Rob) Pierce; aunt, Valerie VanGriethuysen; several cousins and dear friends.
Brian’s life story will be shared during his visiting hours at the funeral home, 1411 Vintage Lane (Between 390 & Long Pond Rd.), Wednesday March 11th, 4-8 PM. His funeral service will be celebrated, Thursday, March 12th, 10 AM at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, 2117 Buffalo, Rd., #299, Rochester., NY 14624 in Brian’s memory.
Brian was born in Rochester, NY on 3-28-84 to his parents, Rhonda and John. He has one older sister, Heather.
From a very young age he was always taking things apart to see how they worked. He wasn't always as diligent at putting them back together, however. He liked to bring home old electronics that other people were throwing away. This continued to present day. His spare bedroom and basement workbench contained many old computers that he liked to use for spare parts and various projects.
He followed his grandfather, Clark, around when he was young and watched him at his workbench as he constructed things out of wood, and fixed things like bicycles and items around the house. Brian learned then that anything could be fixed, and sometimes you had to be creative about finding a way to do it.
One time he was with his grandfather at the hardware store and he locked the keys in the car, causing Brian and his grandfather to have to walk home. Brian never let him forget it, and asked him every time after that "Got the keys?"
He enjoyed playing games on his father's Commodore 64 (computer) and his Nintendo.
He was in Pack 48 Cub Scouts were he enjoyed going camping and once he even found a lost scout while hiking in the woods with his fellow scouts. He was in the pinewood derby and won first place in his first ever race.
He later joined Boy Scout troop 173, where he made first class. He was also a member of a Computer Explorer Post at Kodak, where his father worked.
He played piano, took five years of lessons, and once played a duet with his best friend, Jeremy, at a piano recital.
He was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age Il, and battled the disease for the remainder of his life. Although it went into remission after his surgery in 2011, he then enjoyed 8 good years. His Crohn's interfered with his schooling, he was tutored at home for many years, but he eventually was able to complete school and earn his GED.
One of his favorite pastimes was camping with his family (grandparents, parents, sister, aunt, and cousin). They used to take the trailer to various places in New York, but his favorite campground was the KOA at Watkins Glen. He enjoyed following his cousin, Brendan, and sister, Heather as they hiked the trails in the woods.
He enjoyed spending time at his family's cottage on Cayuga Lake. One of his favorite spots to hang out was in the old Navy hammock that belonged to his grandfather, Tom. When the family sold the cottage, Brian received the hammock, bought a stand for it, and was able to use it in his backyard.
He played in the handbell choir at Bethany Presbyterian Church for 3 years, got to travel to a competition in Pennsylvania. When he was young he was in the play 'Jonah and the Whale' at church where he played Jonah. He told his mom that "they didn't pick me because I was good at acting, they picked me because I was the only one that could memorize the lines.'
He would go to the Amateur Radio Hamfest with his dad where he worked at the booth making badges with ham radio call signs on them.
Brian was able to travel to England to visit a friend, who he had been helping with his website business. This was Brian's first paid job. While in England, he was able to visit many tourist locations including Stonehenge, but Warwick Castle was his favorite.
In 2004 while in Disney World, Brian wanted to play minature golf. When we went to play we were told that there was a storm coming. He made his parents wait almost 2 hours for the storm to pass and we still ended up playing with rain ponchos on.
He started at Tinseltown in 2004 as a restaurant employee. He moved to Imax in 2006, where he worked as a projectionist. This was probably his favorite job, and he talked to anyone that would listen about how he had to build films, change projector light bulbs, and run the movies. His skills learned early in life from his grandfather came in handy here as he was always fixing things around the theater (popcorn machines, vacuum cleaners), and building the movie standees. He became senior assistant manager at the theater in 2010.
Another job that he had for many years, and really enjoyed, was taking care of and fixing arcade machines at Tinseltown, Movies 10, and Monster Mini Golfin Buffalo. He enjoyed troubleshooting problems and making repairs. He had plans to build his own arcade machine.
He built his own computers (has done since a young age), and built computers for various family members, friends, and anyone that needed one. He was the official tech-support guy for family members and friends who were always calling or texting him with questions.
He bought his first and only house in 2015 in Gates. He lived there with his two roommates, Jeremy and John.
He went to San Diego, CA in 2018 with his mom and sister to visit his cousin, Melody. While there, he enjoyed visiting Disneyland, the San Diego zoo.
After talking about it for many years, he finally got his own cat, Marty in October 2019. Marty was Brian's lap companion while he was at home, and kept him company while he watched TV. He was very cuddly and was a great comfort to Brian when he was sick.
Brian liked to cook, and always tweaked recipes to make them his own because he didn't think his mom used enough seasoning. He liked to grill, and wouldn't let anyone else cook the steak because he was very picky about how they were cooked.
He enjoyed having friends over for food and board games. He also had friends over every Sunday, and they would cook food and then watch Game of Thrones. When he wasn't playing board games in person, he enjoyed playing games online with friends.
He was a tea drinker, and always had a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge. He was a big Simpsons fan and had a Simpsons quote for every occasion. If you forgot how one went, you only had to start it, and he would fill in the rest.
He was a kind and loving son, brother, nephew, and cousin and was always there when we needed him. His friends said he was generous, kind and always put his friends before himself.