Farewell Brian Robert Davis

Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks’ remarks at Nov. 8, 2014 “Celebration of Live” for Brian Davis

Welcome Brian’s Sisters and Brothers, family, friends, members, colleagues and Employers. Today we join in saying farewell to one of our own.

Local 174 Business Agent and Joint Council 28 Freight Director Brian Davis was called to a greater cause that we cannot begin to explain.

BD-video-placeholderWe try to make sense of this unexpected and inexplicable loss but the almighty Father is the only one who truly knows why Brian was taken from us at this time.

Someday … certainly not today … but someday, we will all understand why at such a young age of 48 and with so much more to accomplish Brian was called to serve the heavenly Father’s needs in a different way.

Today we will mourn. We will cry. We will laugh and we will celebrate. We will share stories and we will learn about our Brother Brian who was so much more than a Union Official.

He was a father, a soul mate, a great coworker, a loyal friend to many … a student of some and a mentor to others.

He genuinely cared about people and he would do anything for anyone in need.

He was a champion of the lawn darts!

He was a leader!

He was competitive, he was funny, he was tough but also compassionate, he was a military man to the core and he was one of the best tractor trailer drivers I ever knew.

He was driven but most of all he loved his family.

Araina he loved you so much. He could not wait to get home to you every night. He truly wanted to spend the rest of his life with you…and that he did. You built a great life together with a beautiful home to raise both girls whom he loved tremendously.

Erin, he worried about you all the time. When you were in junior high he told me that you were never going to be allowed to drive. Not because of you but because he knew through his profession how many nuts are out on the roads we travel. It was going to be his way to protect you.

Cierra, you were also his daughter. He cared deeply for you and we know you felt that from him.

You were both loved very much and it is now up to the both of you to watch out for each other because that is what your dad would expect.

Erin, he was so proud of you for continuing your education at Western Washington University. He wanted the best that life could offer you and he knew with a college degree you could make your own way.

Cierra, you have your entire high school years ahead of you for Brian to prepare for your College education.
You should both understand that your dad was committed to paying for your opportunities to achieve an education that would enable you both to make your own way … an opportunity for a College Degree that he never had himself.

He was committed to paying for your education as long as you were committed to succeeding. We will now make sure that continues to happen.

When I first began to assemble our team in 2005, I had the benefit of years of watching and evaluating people for the positions I was looking for to best represent the members of Local 174.

As a former Business Agent and Vice President on the Executive Board I had the opportunity to visit the various barns around the Local and I recall one visit in particular when I stopped by USF Reddaway where Brian was a shop steward.

Brian asked if I wanted to sit in on an orientation meeting he was going to have with a new driver. This was surprising to me that this type of meeting was not only allowed by the Company but was also on the clock for both of them.

When I sat there and watched Brian go through his presentation that he obviously had done numerous times I was more impressed than anytime I could ever recall.

I watched while Brian told this new hire about all the benefits in the Union Contract he could expect and should know about. He covered the wage progression, the Health & Welfare Benefits and when they kicked in, the Pension Benefits, the work rules and so on.

But what he covered next was the part that I was most impressed with.

He expressed to this new driver that he was now a Teamster member and with that he could expect all those benefits we have provided for him and his family but with that he now needed to be the best representative of the Teamsters he could be and that was by being a good employee first and foremost.

It was at that moment that I realized he was somebody I wanted on my team!

We will miss Brian so very much! We will miss that wonderful smile that could make you forget all the problems you were dealing with at any time.

We will miss that boyish charm of smacking Carl upside the head and then daring Carl to do something.
This usually ended with Carl sucker punching Brian and then running down the hall for his life. Only to be caught and receiving a lump somewhere on his body while he’s crying uncle.

We will miss that as matter of fact attitude when something needed to get done so he would jump right in and do it.

We will miss that constant horn honking alarm he would set off from his office window every time someone would walk by the front of his parked truck.

We will miss how serious he approached his job in representing the members while never taking himself serious.

We will miss his never back down standard bets with Michael Gonzales that resulted in him owning several of Michael’s lives.

We will miss all of those things and many, many more. But we will never miss the opportunities we had to share those-memory making moments with him!

We will cherish all those times! For it is in those memories that we will find the strength to get through this terrible loss until that day comes when we CAN make sense of it all!