CORKILL, Brian Lee
69, was finally freed from the pain and frustration of his failing earthly body November 6, 2019. Preceded in death by his father, Bernard Mock; his mother, Marjorie; his stepfather, Albert and his brother, Jay. Brian is survived by his wife, Jenna-lu; his kids, Chip (Lisa) and Casey (Jack); his sisters, Kathy and Sharon and his brother, Jeffrey (Yvonne). He is also survived by 12 grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.
Brian came to Tucson from Chillicothe, Ohio in 1968, becoming an accomplished guitarist and singer. He spent the 70's performing and touring in rock and R&B bands including Hobbitt, Aftermath, Trilogy, and Hit and Run.
He joined IBM in 1980 where he ultimately became lead engineer for OAM (Object Access Method, z/OS), retiring in 2015 with 35 years of service at IBM. In addition to his IBM day job, he continued to play music locally in The Billy Shears Band, Raven and Still Cruisin'. From time to time he was an honorary 'cuz' for The Ronstadt Cousins and occasionally played guitar on tour with The Desert Sons.
In 2011 when chemo took away the feelings in his fingers, Brian retrained his neuropathic hands to play bass guitar, playing beautifully with The Dukes, Higher Ground, Reverie and the Polk Funk band Minute2Minute. He was the consummate bandmate, not only adding exceptional musical prowess to each band, but a lead-by-example basic human kindness that touched everyone who shared a stage with him.
He was a natural athlete excelling in any sport he played. He was his high school wrestling champ, skied black diamond slopes with ease, and won Tucson city league championships in both tennis and racquetball. Before his illness, he regularly beat long driving youngsters half his age with his precision golfing skills. He was also a huge AZ Wildcats Basketball fan.
But more than anything, Brian was a family man. He was his family's patriarch, the big brother who had your back, the proud uncle cheering you on, the loving stepdad, always willing to lend an ear or offer advice when asked. He cherished his fatherlike relationship with his nephew Jamie, adored his 12 grandchildren, and was a very proud Nino to his Goddaughters, Kayde and Briana.
He shared over 20 years with the love of his life Jenna-lu, a rare and beautiful love that only a few lucky ones get to experience. Together, they stood firm against the darkness of sickness and disease, finding strength and hope through love. He cherished life, and lived it to the fullest. His courage and resilience through almost two decades of cancer treatments were an inspiration to all. He was lovingly cared for by a vast community of family and friends who kept music, laughter and companionship foremost in his life. He was grateful for that.
In all that he was and all that he did, his brilliance, his kindness, his quick clever wit and his love for others permeated throughout. We will always remember him and strive to honor his beautiful life by being all that he would want us to be.
It was perfectly apropos that the very last song he would hear in his life was The Beatles 'The End', playing randomly from a shuffled playlist of faves. "And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love, you make."
We love you Brian Lee Corkill, and we will always love you until the end of time.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the ACLU. A service and celebration of life are planned for January, time and date TBA. Arrangements by BRING'S BROADWAY CHAPEL.