Brian W. Johnson

  • Born: June 29, 1973
  • Died: November 5, 2012
  • Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Tribute & Message From The Family

Johnson, Brian W., of St. Louis, Missouri, died on Monday, November 5, 2012 at the age of 39. Beloved son of Bill and Kathy Johnson; dear brother of Kris Johnson; cherished grandson of Vera Trebilcock; he is also survived by a large extended family and close friends. Brian was a longtime employee (more than 20 years) for Imo's Pizza. He was very musically talented and played the base guitar in local bands. Brian was a very genuine person, very kind and gentle. He had a great spirit and enjoyed helping people. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed by all.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The BackStoppers


Condolence & Memory Journal

Brian was like a brother to me for the 7 years I worked with him and the years after. I have finally gotten to the point where talking about him brings tears of happy reminders. If I could say everything he has ever done for me, I would be here all day. I always knew he was important he was to me, and am finally seeing exactly to what magnitude. I can honestly say that Brian helped shape me into the woman I have grown into. My desire to make anyone around me smile came from him, doing the same for me all those years. My desire to want to listen, just listen, so other people can vent, came from him. We would sit in his car until the sun came up just talking about anything and everything. I remember there was a point about a year ago where he told me he felt like he was a teenager again because we would talk on the phone for hours in the middle of the night, goofing off and giving advice to each other. The music, lord the music! He opened my eyes to the amount that was out there that had gone unnoticed by me. He helped me, by thoroughly explaining, take in every aspect of the music and appreciate it for so much more than I ever had. I will never forget, he was the one that took me to the concert that changed my life. The first of many more for us. I am content in knowing that I made it clear to him on several occasions how important he was to me, the last not that long ago. But I would give anything in the world to see him one more time, for him to shout: "'ello guvnah!" and us to laugh for 5 minutes before actually talking. Brian was here for a reason, and did a hell of a job at impacting so many. He will be never forgotten.

Posted by Melissa Tokraks - Friend   November 13, 2012


I am so sorry to hear of Brian's passing. The family and friends of Brian are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Dawn Blanc - Florissant, MO - Fellow Hazelwood East student   November 11, 2012



Posted by Dolly Eberline - Saint Louis, MO - Friend   November 11, 2012

Brian was the bass player in my band for over a year......and, as a band, we (Jeff White, myself, and Brian) shared an apartment in Lancaster, PA. Brian had the most wonderful childlike sensitive and creative. He always lifted the moment....particularly many dark, spikey moments and moods of the other 2 artists he lived with.

I'd really like to draw attention to the fact that Brian played bass for more than local acts (as stated in his eulogy paragraph on this site). I think he would have really liked people to know that he played bass on a recording of my song, Saviour, that David Bowie sang, of course, because David Bowie sang on that song...that song has been heard all around the world. The bass part that Brian played was otherworldly creative. Can't imagine anyone else coming up with such a part.

I have often regretted our parting of ways as a band.

Much love to the family.

-Kristeen Young

Posted by Kristeen Young - New York, NY - friend, musical colleague   November 11, 2012

Last night in Charleston South Carolina at the Windjammer, my husband's band,Steel Petals, played their song "Own Your Heart" and dedicated it to Brian. They played it without the bass.

Posted by Rebecca Narkiewicz - Charleston, SC - Old friend   November 10, 2012


Like any other kind of love,
friendship can be lost within our lives
due to neglect or anger or, sometimes,
simply circumstances.
However it is lost,
we often lose a part of ourselves
that can never quite be recovered.

Posted by Julie - FL - friend from the past   November 10, 2012


May the peace of God be with your family. May you forever hold on to our Heavenly Father's promise that we will meet again some day. Our Sincere Deepest Sympathy, The Whitfield Family

Posted by Cheryl Whitfield - Saint Louis, MO - Friend   November 10, 2012


May your heart and soul find peace and comfort at this time. My deepest condolence to you and the family!!! You will be in my thoughts and prayers...... The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever..... Psalm 23 ...God Bless always......In Christ, Amanda Lynn

Posted by Amanda Lynn Weber - Virginia Beach, VA - Friend   November 10, 2012

My family & I are aware of the tragic loss of Brian through a friend of ours who asked us to join him in prayer for your family. Our earnest thoughts & prayers are with you as you go through this unfortunate loss. We pray for peace to encompass each of your hearts & that justice for this senseless crime be made possible in an expeditious manner. God's blessings with continued prayers. ~Stinson Family

Posted by Stinson Family    November 09, 2012

When Tricia came up to my car as I pulled in the drive on Tuesday and told me the unspeakable news about Brian, for a moment my mind couldn't even comprehend such a horror. But all I had to do was look at her face and I knew it was all too true. Such dear people, such treasured neighbors for all these our hearts break that you have this kind of pain to endure. We are lifting all of you, and especially Kathy and Bill, daily to the Lord for His help, His hope, and His healing in each of your lives. May you feel His comfort.

Erhardt, Keni, Kristen, and Kari

Posted by The Stopp Family - Overland, MO - neighbors   November 09, 2012

I had the privilege of having Brian as my friend for over 20 years. Brian was always there for me and always had my back in every situation. I loved, respected and trusted Brian like my brother. There are not words that could ever describe how special Brian was. I could spend 1000 life times writing and thinking and it would not even come close to the time needed to express the impact he had on so many lives. It is impossible to put into words. The positive and caring energy he brought to my life and so many others is irreplaceable. The world is a darker place without him. I know Brian can hear all of us and I know he can feel the love we all have for him. Brian will never be gone. He will live in the hearts of all of us and will be there to greet us when it is time. Brian, I LOVE YOU brother!!! We all LOVE YOU
Thank you for being my friend in this hard cruel world as it was an extremely rare gift that I will never forget. RIP #138

Posted by Bradley Krena - Saint Louis, MO - Friend   November 09, 2012

Keeping your family in our hearts and prayers.
The Koeller Family

Posted by Gary and Sherry Koeller and Family - St. Louis, MO - family friends   November 09, 2012

I have heard of this sad and senseless tragity through a friend of the grieving family. I wanted to share my condolences and let the family know we will be praying for you. May you rest on the Lord's shoulder's during your time of grief. We are so sorry that your loved one's life came to such a holt at such a young age. Let our mighty God fill your deep pain with his love and healing for it is only through him we will have total and sustainable peace. Much love....

Posted by Michelle - Unknown   November 09, 2012

My heart is broken. Our family, our lives are forever changed. We will miss Brian dearly but will remember and love him always.

It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone. ~ John Steinbeck

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." ~Kahlil Gibran

Posted by Tricia - Overland, MO - Aunt   November 09, 2012

Psalm 24

English Standard Version (ESV)
The King of Glory
A Psalm of David.

1 The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

7 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
9 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah

Posted by MATT    November 09, 2012

Hello- Although I do not know anyone in this family, my heart is saddened to hear this story. May God comfort you like only He can during this time and the months and years to follow such a tragic loss. I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you all.


Posted by Rhonda Frye - Ringgold, GA - non- just concerned for family   November 09, 2012

I did not have the pleasure of knowing this very kind looking man but know someone who did! I am so very sorry for this senseless tragedy and am praying for his family and friends that God's peace and comfort would be upon you all! God is an amazing and loving God especially in the face of tragedy. It is so very hard to understand why something like this would happen, but know that Jesus is walking with you every step of the way and when he needs to he will carry you! My prayers and thoughts are with you. Jesus bless you!!

Posted by Laura henry - st louis, MO   November 09, 2012

I did not know Brian but a neighbor of his grandparents told me the story and I wanted to express my condolences for your loss. I pray in God's holy name that he surrounds your family with peace and comfort during this very difficult time.

Posted by Katheryn LeBlanc - none   November 09, 2012

I was sadden to hear the terrible news that such a senseless crime was committed and when I just learned it was the son of Bill & Kathy Johnson who I have always considered to be friends, the sadness became even deeper. I can only offer you my deepest sympathy, friendship and prayers. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Laurie Lackey

Posted by Laurie Lackey - Grantwood Village, MO - Friend   November 09, 2012

To Brian's family and his extended family at Imo's: We are so saddened by the senseless way this man was taken away from the people that loved him. Brian and his coworkers are like family to us and he will be missed. Another angel to watch over us.

Posted by Ed Bellm Plbg. Co. - St. Louis, MO - Friend   November 09, 2012

Our heart breaks at your loss. Draw streangth From Jesus. He knows your Pain, Anger,Confusion, Doubt and all of the plethora off emotions that flood your hurting heart.

Posted by Mike & Ellen Hickman - Overland, MO - Neighbor   November 09, 2012

RIP Brian. I'm sorry it ended the way it did. You were a great friend and just an awesome person. You will truly be missed.

Posted by Stewart Panos - St. Louis, MO - Friend   November 09, 2012

Things around imos will neva b the same Brian you will b missed

Posted by jarvis - saint louis, MO - co worker/ good friend   November 09, 2012

The Canavan family all knew and worked along side Brian. He was a great guy and will be missed by everyone that got the chance to get to know him. My thoughts and sympathies go out to his family for their loss.

Posted by Sandra Herbstreit (Canavan) - Las Vegas, NV - Friend   November 09, 2012

I've often wondered what became of you after you left the East Coast and went back to St. Louis, Brian. You were a fantastic bass player, and such a cool and kind person... You had great mutton chops, too! I'm so sad to hear about this... Rest in Peace...

Posted by Howard Forbes - NYC, NY - Friend   November 09, 2012


It was many years ago when I first met Brian. He could always make me laugh, and was one of the nicest people I've ever known. You will be grealy missed, Brian. I know you are in a good place.

Posted by Julie Dickerson (Davis) - O'Fallon, MO - Friend   November 09, 2012

I worked with Brian for almost 10 years at the imos on Parker. I have many fond memories of working with him and I will greatly miss his smile. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Posted by Christina Kegley (canavan) - Las Vegas, NV - Friend   November 09, 2012


Brian Johnson was one of a kind. When he started working with me, we quickly became friends. The last few monthes, Brian would come over to my house and hang out almost every night after work. We kept each other sane. We knew that if something was bothering one of us, we could talk to the other about it. It is going to be difficult to get along without him. Brian was truely one of my best friends and he will be missed.

Posted by Anthony Sbarboro - St. Louis, MO - friend   November 09, 2012



Posted by jor - ST LOUIS, NE - FRIEND   November 09, 2012


Cousin Kathy, Bill and Kris,

Even though we never had the opportunity to meet Brian, we do know without a doubt that he is with his Savior in Heaven. The fact that his life had such a profound positive, joyful effect on so many others as we have read here from all of you is a testimony in itself of how truly blessed we all are as a family.

Please know that God is always there to call upon, even during the most difficult times of our lives.

With Deepest Sympathies and With All Our Love,
James, Maria, James-Andrew and Joseph Romero

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Posted by James, Maria, James-Andrew and Joseph Romero - Valencia, CA   November 09, 2012

Kathy,Bill and Kris, our thoughts and prayers are with you

Posted by tom and bette martin;debbi martin hoven and sandi martin casterl - st.ann, MO - neighbors   November 09, 2012


I worked with Brian at Imo's in my early twenties. Brian was truly a great person to work with and know as an individual. My sympathies go out to the Johnson family for this tragic event.

Posted by Brian Shreckengost - Webster Groves, MO - co-worker   November 08, 2012

"Helicopter!!!!! go round and round and round." "Attack of the knees!" These two phrases were how your Aunt Patricia introduced me to her beloved little nephew Brian. Then a few years ago your grandma and Aunt Tricia taught me the water tower game, and its origins. I picture you and your grandpa playing it again right now, and him cheating with his silencer.

Kathy, Bill, Kris - I send you my deepest sympathies and pray you find peace in quiet moments during this most difficult of times.

Trish and Vera - I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you, and all of the extended Trebilcock family. Brian was so unique and he will be remembered with love and smiles.

Posted by Rita - St. Louis, MO - friend of the family   November 08, 2012


brian was like a brother to me! its still hard for me to process that he's actually gone he will be missed and NEVER forgotten i love you brian with all my heart!

Posted by ambert kish - saint louis, MO - friend   November 08, 2012


brian was a great guy wouldnt smash a fly you are gone but will NEVER be forgotten

Posted by jeremy houston - saint louis, MO - co worker/friend(2 great years)   November 08, 2012



Posted by AMY PANOS - ST. LOUIS, MO - FRIEND   November 08, 2012

You are in my thoughts and prayers during this most difficult of times.


Posted by Jen Woodson - St. Louis, MO - Co-worker   November 08, 2012

Kathy, Bill and Kris: While words cannot express how deeply saddened I am for your loss, I can only say that in this, the darkest of moments, please take comfort in knowing your family is now considerably closer to God. With Brian's passing, you now have one of the best guys ever now sitting at the right hand of God protecting you in all you do. May you find peace in knowing Brian is in a far better place. These dark days will eventually yield to sunshine. All my sympathy. Gary

Posted by Gary Muenster - St. Louis, MO - I work for Kathy   November 08, 2012

I hope someday you find peace knowing that Brian is in a better place.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Posted by Dick Garretson - St. Louis, MO - Co-worker   November 08, 2012

Peace and happiness to you Brian. My prayers to all of your family.

Posted by Maudie Fox - Dellwood, MO - Neighborhood Friend   November 08, 2012

May you find peace and happines on your new life journey, Brian. Your influence is one I have carried with me for the better part of my adult life. You touched the lives of many my friend.

Posted by Stephanie Seehausen - Saint Louis, MO - Friend   November 08, 2012


My prayers go out to the entire family and all his friends. May Brian Rest In Peace.

Posted by Jamie Chaffin - Troy, MO   November 08, 2012

Dear Johnson family,
Please take comfort in knowing that Brian was loved by many. Let the Lord wrap you in His arms and comfort you in this difficult time.

Posted by NT - St Louis, MO   November 08, 2012


I never got to meet Brian, but felt like I knew him through his sister Kris. She always had the best things to say about him. My love goes to the whole family.

Posted by SKW - STL, MO   November 08, 2012


Brian had the most unique sense of humor of anyone I've ever known. I met him when I was 15 and he was in my life for almost a decade. He's never been forgotten and never will be. He was my first love.

Posted by Rebecca Narkiewicz - Charleston, MN - friend   November 08, 2012

Our sincere condolences to my cousin Kathy and her family. Hopefully you can be at peace knowing he is with God now. All our love to you.

Posted by Doris and Davidi Powell - DeFuniak Springs, FL - cousin   November 08, 2012

I have known Brian for well over 20 years, he was like a brother to me as well as a dear friend to all that knew him, he will be sorely missed. Peace be with you all in this tragic time Brian would have wanted it that way.

Posted by Robert Stewart - Taos, NM - Best friend   November 08, 2012

Unfortunately, I only knew Brian for a moment. What a lovely moment that was. He was a gentle, sweet soul and his quiet nature and lovely smile will be dearly missed. I'm sending all my healing thoughts and wishes to the family. Kris, Bill, and Kathy, he knew your love. He knows your love. May you find peace.

Posted by H - Saint Louis, MO - cousin-not-in-law   November 08, 2012

I worked with Brian for many years at the Imos on Parker Rd. I am very honored to call Brian my friend. His love for life , funny personality and bright smile I will remember most. We shared countless deep conversations and I always valued his opinion. We shared a very similar taste in music. Brian was always the one turning me on to new bands. Almost my entire music library consists of his recommendations. Remembering the good times we've had always brings a smile to my face and will last me a lifetime. He was a genuine and kind soul. How lucky we all are to have had Brian in our lives. My thoughts and prayers go out to all his family and friends. Until we meet again...I love and miss you Brian.

Posted by Tim Bacon - St.Charles, MO - Friend   November 08, 2012


Kathy, I never met your Brian but he was surely as vibrant as you are. His spirit is alive and well and no doubt wants you to know it grieve as long as you must, but then let in the warmth of love that his spirt is forever emitting, and smile with him again.
Love, Cynthia

Posted by Cynthia Humphreys - Palm Desert, CA - Cousin to Kathy   November 07, 2012

Bill, Kathy and Kris:

Jacque and I are so sorry to hear about your loss and wish to convey our sincerest condolences. God bless and comfort you during these most difficult times.

Posted by Craig M. and Jacque R. Hays - Gretna, LA - Friends and coworker   November 07, 2012


Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Barbara Davidson - St. Louis, MO - friend   November 07, 2012


You and I shot water towers on our first road trip together. And I'll never forget how you mixed dirt in the dog's water bowl and declared that you made chocolate water for Buddy. Or the time that you put rocks in my hubcaps while you "helped" me wash the car.

You were always a source of joy for me, my beloved grandson. I will love and miss you forever.

Posted by Vera Trebilcock - Overland, MO - Grandmother   November 07, 2012

Family Album

December 2005

Family Album

Christmas time, maybe 92-94?
photo taken by Tony Visconti — at North Queen St., Lancaster, PA. Shared by Kristeen Young on her Facebook page