|Tending bar at the Boka Bear Den|
|Shots, anyone? (Mexico, 2008)|
|Life was always more fun with Brian around|
|At a fundraising gala|
Brian was honest, sometimes almost to a fault. He didn't pull any punches when it came to speaking his mind, and one of his less endearing traits was that he didn't care who he offended with what he said; he valued honesty over feelings. Still, he had a great way to use his strengths to bring out the best in people and situations. He fared quite well in business and quickly moved into positions of leadership and authority. He was a wonderful manager -- he had the ability to improve an organization at its lower levels by bringing out the most in his employees, while he also had a talent for thinking big-picture and improving a company by making sure departments worked together and sharing ideas for change and development in planning meetings with higher-ups. He took great pride in helping poor performers on his team turn things around, in mentoring team members to prepare them for promotions and career growth, and in being a leader at the office.
|The college days|
|My best friend|
Brian loved friends, family, food, fun, and life. Yet he was picky, and had funny tastes. He disliked fruit in general, and despised berries. I remember a big fight we had once when he wouldn't take even one bite of a strawberry-rhubarb cake I'd made (that was a labor-intensive dessert, I might add). He was stubborn; what can I say? He hated topiaries, barn quilts, and doilies. He never shied away from telling me if he didn't like an article of clothing or accessory I picked out, either. He liked my hair best when it was long and I didn't have bangs.
|With Picaboo Whiskers Boka, our firstborn :)|
|With our neices, Lily and Lauren|
Brian could read people like a book. He had an uncanny gut feeling about people that would prove, time and time again, to be spot on. If he warned me that someone was sleazy, they usually proved to be just that. He also had an ability to talk to anyone, to get people to open up, and to get people to leave their comfort zones and grow.
|He was never afraid to jump in and sing along...|
|With his good friends at a Reckless Kelly show (Kansas City)|
|With his brother, in Jamaica|
|With his best friend Mike|
|Hart's 30th birthday -- sometimes they'd kind of dress alike unwittingly|
I can't sum up a person and his entire life with one blog entry, and I'm sure I'm leaving out hundreds of words and anecdotes that would more fully paint the picture of Brian Boka. He was true to himself and sought to bring out the best in everyone around him. He forever changed me, made me a better person, and shaped me into the football-loving, music-appreciating, dirty-joke-telling woman I am today.
I miss you, Brian Steven Boka. I love you. Thank you for sharing your life with me.
|Our wedding day -- 06.19.04|
|Our 5 year anniversary party at our home in Iowa|