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Dirk Alan Van Brussel (Eta Omicron) 1958-2007

Dirk Alan Dirk Alan Van Brussel, age 49, of Chicago, Illinois, passed away Thursday, September 20, 2007, in Chicago. He was born to Rev. James and Dorothy Van Brussel in Toledo and graduated from James Madison University with degrees in music education and trumpet performance. Dirk completed the course work for a masters degree at Miami University, where he was assistant director of the marching and concert bands and director of the 6:30 Jazz Ensemble. He was an active teacher, clinician and guest performer, both as a conductor and trumpet performer, in Northwest Ohio and served as director of bands at Elmwood Local Schools, Findlay City Schools and St. John’s Jesuit High School, Toledo. Dirk had a deep love of music and performing. He served several years as director and lead trumpet of the Findlay Civic Jazz and played in many local ensembles ranging from classical to contemporary, including the polka band, Bavarian Brass. In 2001, Dirk embarked on a second career in the Chicago theater community that made use of his skills in carpentry and design. Most notably, he served as assistant technical director with Northlight Theater and production manager for Remy Bumppo Theater, the Northwestern University Opera Department (where he also did many scenic designs) and most recently with Pegasus Players Theater. During his 20 year involvement in community, educational and professional theater, he music directed, conducted or played in the pits of more than 100 productions in Ohio and Chicago, winning the 2004 Chicago After Dark Award for Excellence in Music Direction. Diagnosed with ALS in 2006, Dirk had the support and love of many in the Chicago theater community and was able to continue working, learning to blacksmith and even restoring an old home on the south side of Chicago until his death by a ruptured aneurism at the age of 49. Dirk is survived by his loving wife, Jill Van Brussel of Chicago, IL; parents, Rev. James and Dorothy Van Brussel of Toledo, OH; as well as many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his sister, Valerie Van Brussel of Bellevue, OH. The family will receive guests Tuesday and Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8:00 p.m. in the Newcomer Funeral Home, 4150 W. Laskey Rd. (419-473-0300). Funeral Services will begin Thursday at 1:00 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 4441 Monroe St., with viewing one hour prior. Officiating will be Pastor Marc Miller, assistant to the Bishop of Northwest Ohio, ELCA and Pastor Merlin Jacobs, Senior Pastor of Grace Lutheran. Interment will follow in Ottawa Hills Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers Memorial Contributions may be made to Les Turner ALS Foundation, 5550 W. Touhy Ave., Suite 302, Skokie, IL 60077-3254 or the Pegasus Players Theater, O’Rourke Center Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave. Chicago, IL 60640. Expressions of sympathy may be made at: Published in Toledo Blade from Sept. 25 to Sept. 26, 2007

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