Fun-loving, exciting, creative, intuitive, caring
From a young age, Brogan was adventurous and mischievous. He was great entertainment and could also be challenging at times, like when he fell in the creek and grandma had to fish him out, or when he was two and took off through the neighborhood and had to be tracked down. Or the time they were on vacation and his parents woke up to find Brogan on the beach fishing with an adult they didn’t know. One time they couldn’t find him and later found him asleep in the back of his dad’s truck. “If he wanted to do something, he just did it without telling us,” his mom said. He also liked to take things and hide them. The family used to say, “if you can’t find something, it is under Brogan’s bed.”
Brogan helped many people. He was one of the first in his class to get his license and left for school at 6:30 so he could pick up all his buddies. He was a great “fixer” of almost anything, computers, thermostats, or ring cameras. He loved to see people happy. He was the class clown, very popular in school, and known for flashing his beautiful smile. Brogan was creative, witty, and quick, staying ahead of everyone. And he never just entered a room, he made an entrance, “you could hear him in advance coming down the stairs,” his mom stated.
Since he could play the piano by ear, he refused music lessons and was a self-taught guitar player. Brogan was a gifted artist, drawing for hours while listening to rap music. He was an altar boy for seven years at the Basilica of St. Mary and sometimes worked the front desk at his mother’s medical spa but could be found getting a chair massage when he was supposed to be answering the phone!
Brogan had a girlfriend, Sami, who he dearly loved. They planned to attend James Madison University together, but he was also considering visiting Provincetown for their art school. He ultimately wanted to get married and have children. Brogan was in and out of several treatment centers, one in Chicago lasted six days and he ran away from another one in Florida, which was providing substandard treatment; the story made the national news.
Brogan’s mom, Diane, is preparing to start a non-profit to educate teachers and kids about the disease of addiction. She is also interested in advocating for better regulation of treatment centers, like the one in Florida and many others. “Brogan would have wanted that, for me to keep pushing,” she said. “People shouldn’t be punished for having an addiction, they should be supported, protected, and given skills to cope with the world. I truly believe he is in heaven with grandma, grandpa, and others,” Diane said. “God took Brogan for a reason, maybe something would have been worse in life.”
Brogan’s mother, Diane Burns, provided the information for this narrative.
October 6, 2002-August 24, 2020
Age 17-Lived with the disease of addiction one year