James Leo Brand

April 13, 1960 ‒ August 08, 2017

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: James Leo Brand went to be with the Lord Tuesday evening, August 8, 2017 in OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital surrounded by his family. He was 57.

He was born April 13, 1960 in Cleveland to parents James & Frances (Lewandowski) Brand. He graduated from Bedford High School before continuing his education at THE Ohio State University, graduating with his bachelors of education with the class of 1982.

James worked as a band and music teacher for Crestview and Mansfield City Schools. He was a gifted musician being able to play just about any instrument but his favorites were the saxophone and bass. He was a great motivator and inspiration to each of his students hoping to make a difference in each of their lives.

James was an active member in the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. He sang in the choir, lead discipleship groups and even helped cantor.

He is survived by his wife, whom he married October 3, 2015, Jane Brand of Mansfield; brothers John Brand of Cleveland, Robert (Marissa) Brand of La Jolla, CA and William (Kris) Brand of Medina; step-sons Adam (Shelby) Perkins and Andy Perkins (Danielle); 4 grandchildren; 4 nieces and nephews; very good friends Shirley Snodgrass and Grand Dotterer. James was preceded in death by his parents.

The Brand family will receive friends Monday, August 14, 2017 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church where a memorial service honoring James’ life will begin immediately at 11 a.m. The Rev. Dr. Pentti Maki will officiate.

In lieu of flowers contributions in James’ memory may be made to Crestview Band Boosters or Mansfield City Band Boosters. Donations can be made at the service.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve James’ family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at SnyderFuneralHomes.com

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  • I’m am very for your loss Mr brand was a great man and a very awesome teacher he was always there when u needed him rest in a peace

  • There are no words to express what a broken heart can say. Except for music, wisdom, puns/humor, dedication, friendship, mentorship and knowledge. Those are the words that Mr James Brand was. He inspired greatness in all who he came in contact with. His title was band teacher or director. But it was more than a job to him. He was more than that to everyone who stepped a foot in his class. He took a personal interest to every one of his students in a span of 30+ years. Nobody was singled out as a class “pet”. Everyone had a purpose to him. Everyone was “family”. We really wasn’t labeled as a “student”. I still laugh at times when he would throw my clarinet reed on the wall to see if it would stick (one time it did stick). Then asked “did you kiss any girls with that mouth?”. We all laughed of course. He pushed me to be better than myself. Even when I didn’t think I had it in me. That was his legacy. “Greatness”. But not for himself (he was way too humble to say he was great). But for me. RIP Mr Brand. I’ll be praying for you Ms Jane Brand, brothers and family. God Bless.

  • We had so many great times together. He was a gem and I imagine the music in Heaven is more lovely with his addition. He was the teacher I chose as most inspiring to me when I graduated high school. He took nothing and made the most beautiful music come from it. He believed in me and pushed me and made me a better person. Years later he pulled up beside me on the road and enthusiastically shouted, Holly Berri! How are you??! This was him…always joyful, always loving, even when you disappointed him. I only hope to be half the teacher he was. Godspeed Mr. Brand….I’m grateful that you believed in us and made us better than we ever thought we could be.💙

  • Mr. Brand was an amazing man… not only a fantastic musician and teacher but friend. During high school… anyone and everyone was welcomed in the band room. One step in that band room and it felt like home. He bent some music stands and chairs but it was out of love. You could feel the love he had for every student. He is gone way to soon and will never be forgotten. Love you JB. ❤️

  • What a terrible loss ! Jim was my college dorm roommate and good friend since our days at Ohio State in the late ’70s & eatly ’80’s. He was brilliant, witty and honorable, and one of the most musically gifted people I’ve ever known.
    In addition to rooming together we played music together in various OSU Jazz Bands for three years. What a terrific tenor sax soloist he was! Jim and I both played saxophone but he was the truly talented one. I learned a lot about music from him, but only a fraction of what he knew. He was always glad to help me along. I can only imagine how great of a band director he must’ve been. The Mansfield & Crestview schools were truly blessed to have “Mr. Brand.” My heart goes out to Jane and the families. Jim left quite a mark on this world, and he’ll be missed by many.

    Cliff Huber – Jacksonville, FL

  • I was in Mr. Brand’s first class at Crestview. He started after a rough year for our music program. He made my senior year so much better by being there. While he was still at Crestview, he taught my niece and nephew as well. And they loved having him as a teacher as well. Even after many years of not seeing me and only having me for one year as a student, he still remembered me. He may not have had any biological children, but I know that I will always consider myself one of his “band kids. He will be missed by many.

  • i am truly sorry for your lost Will always remember the good times in choir with him RIP James Brand

  • In only the words Mr. B would say “Jesus loves you, and so do I”! Until we meet again ….
    Jane and family God bless you and may you find comfort in the wonderful stiries and memories that everyone has shared!

  • Deepest condolences to the entire Brand family. Jim was clearly a great man and left us too soon. May stories and fond memories of Jim, like the ones shared here, help bring you solace in this difficult time. All of God’s blessings to the Brands, as Jim, now along side his mom and dad, all smile down with pride from above.

  • I cant even begin to think of what band would have been like without him. He never gave up on me, and i am the drummer i am today, because he refused to give up. He pushed me to be the best, and made me the best i could be, he also never backed down from a rap battle either, and i dont recall him losing one. James Brand will forever be missed, and the great band in heaven, just got a WHOLE lot better

    “A drummer who cant keep tempo is about as useful as fur on a bowling ball”

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Mr. James Brand. I was saddened to hear of his passing. He was a good man with a wonderful sense of humor. As colleagues, I really enjoyed our laughter and conversations, while on morning parking lot duty at Mansfield Senior High. We always talked about music, and he was always very insightful on my music posts. He never had a bad word to say to me, and he left nothing but heartfelt thoughts on my photos that I posted. He will be missed by me and everyone that had ever come in contact with him. Rest In Peace, my friend.

  • I knew Jim from the days of my Mom and Jim along with Clark and Melody Sprague singing in a quartet for Church. He was such a bright and joyous soul. My condolences to the family and his friends. God be with you all.

  • Wow, Mr. Brand was by far the best Teacher and Motivator, he had a way of connecting with us that made us feel important and special. Just grateful that I got the chance to have you in school❤️

  • Rest in heavenly peace Mr. brand … I will never forget your laugh .. it was a honor to have you as a teacher, motivator and friend. You will be missed .. ❤️😔

  • As a parent at Crestview of 2 band members, I remember at music concerts announcing to the audience that no one would leave until the concert was over for everybody. How things changed over time after he left. RIP! Mr. Brand. Youwill not be forgotten. Jessica Faulkner, Cameron Faulkner 07 and Lindsay Faulkner-Patel 05.

  • Jim was a very special man . That was obvious from the short time we met him! Prayers for peace and comfort to Jane and the family.

  • Jane, much love to you and many hugs. Having met him only once I could see his love for you and your love for him. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers. May the love of the Lord Jesus sustain you during this time and beyond.

  • Mr. Brand was more than just a teacher. He became family to us all! He will be missed. I never sat in a study hall because he always had something for me to do in the band room. I would not have made it through school without those times. John 5:21,28-29

    • Kelly,

      Mr. Brand was surely a splendid individual. I’ve thought about him frequently, since dusting off my old high school flute about two years ago.
      Which school did you attend and what was your graduation year?
      Alyssa (Baith) Squier

  • Jane, Sorry for your loss, Jim was a very funny,and caring person,and loved you very much. He was always talking about you at Med Central Fitness Center. My prayers are with you and the family.

  • Jane ,Debbie and I are so very sorry for your loss! The way his eyes would twinkle when we talked about music! He’s surely amongst the angels playing for our Lord.

  • Sorry for your loss. I remember a fun energetic teacher fresh out of school. We had fun in the percussion section of the Gallia Academy High School Band. Never forgot Mr. brand and his selfless teaching. God Bless.

  • My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of Mr. Brand. He had such a unique sense of humor and he was a wonderful educator! My children were lucky to have experienced his energy and style.

  • Jane I’m Sorry for your loss
    Jimmy,was a light in our eyes with music to our ears and he was loved by all. He had a gift of humor and hospitality the endeared you to my heart the very first time I met you.
    May you Rest In Peace as you join Heaven’s Angelic band. To quote an old song, “Goodbye Jimmy Goodbye, I will see you again, but I don’t know when,Goodbye Jimmy Goodbye,”you will be missed by many. I will see you and your Father in heaven someday. With much love Your very dear friend Shirley Snodgrass.

  • “…music, wisdom, puns/humor, dedication, friendship, mentorship and knowledge. Those are the words that Mr James Brand was. He inspired greatness in all who he came in contact with.”

    Well said, Matt!!

    In All- City band 1971 I witnessed a tenor sax playing phenom. It inspired me to get better. By HS we were good friends.

    First rock concert. Cleveland Music Hall, front row. Jim got the tickets for the show. Artful Dodger (Wayside), Eric Carmen (All By Myself) and Sweet (Ballroom Blitz). We were 15.

    Jim motivated me out of my shell back in high school. His harmonies helped me through a rough time after my brother died. He helped keep me afloat. He learned bass guitar, drum kit, keys, harmonica, anything to get the music going. HS Jazz Ensomble… Band Camp… Friday night football games… Best of times and we knew it.
    And music… he turned me on to Mott and I had the Neil. Old times were Good Times.
    Thank you Lord for showing me genius at work when I was young and open.
    God Bless family, friends and students.

    RIP JB3. Don’t Be Denied

  • May the Lord bless you, Family & close friends of James L. Brand, with his peace during your time of loss.

    Mr. Brand, your James, left quite a mark during my six years under his tutelage at Crestview Area Schools from 1986 – 1991. Passion for the students to achieve in musical ability along with passion for a good blend of musical genres made him a marvelous blessing. I enjoyed the combination of his wit & humor; he was nearly always accessible for all things that would build students and the music program so that it was competitive, yet enjoyable.

    One specific memory that I have of him was “the day” that he approached Amy & I as seniors to step up from our large flute section to fill an oboe solo in a particular Christmas piece which was to be performed in mere weeks. The product of his faith in us and our abilities made for a very satisfying end to concert band and that season of my life. I am still thankful for his mentorship.

    Again, my condolences to your family.

  • My condolences to the family and church on the loss of such an energetic and passionate individual.
    Mr. Brand made quite a positive impact in the lives of many students at Crestview during the six years of my witness. I chose him as my favorite high school teacher precisely for his ability to make something out of practically nothing. He was a transformer. I would have liked to hear him play instruments while we were entering homeroom.
    He forever cemented my appreciation of the oboe during my senior year when he approached Amy and I to leave the flute section to take on an oboe “solo” in the 1990 Christmas Program. I believe that Amy would agree that it was an amazing experience to cap our senior year. Mr. Brand had every faith in our abilities and facilitated the process.
    I appreciated his abilities and humor.
    To the family of James L. Brand, I say: May the Lord keep you, bless you, and give you peace.

  • Jim was truly one-of-a-kind.

    He was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known. The depth of knowledge he possessed in such a varied array of subjects was amazing. There was probably no conversation in which he wouldn’t have had a grasp of the subject matter. I would have liked to see him on Jeopardy. No doubt he would have amazed the world.

    He had a true passion for music. A world-class musician (with anything he picked up) who was able to share his gifts with every one of his students. He was an amazing motivator, and his ability to relate to all of us he taught was exceptional. He turned a high school band into something that would rival a LOT of universities. I suspect for a long time people came to CHS football games for the marching band. We had fun, but he made us better than we should have been. Impressive anywhere. Unbelievable at a school with a total enrollment of less that 350.

    I was blessed to call him a teacher. I was lucky enough to call him my friend. The world has lost one of the true originals. The last time we spoke, he ended our conversation with these words: “I love you, I cherish you, be well.”

    I will fail in any attempt to place into words what he meant to me. So Jim, I’ll steal a line from you one more time – I love you. I cherish you. Be Well…

    To Jane, and all of the Brand family – God be with you during this time…

  • Jane and family.

    Our prayers and condolences are with you. Jim was a great music teacher. He had the patience and skill to deal with his students. My husband and I enjoyed working with the Crestview Music Boosters and Jim. He will be missed by many and remember by even more. Dale &Sandy Jenney

  • Bill,
    So sorry for the loss of your brother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time. – Jen Ruiz (Univar)

  • I have known James brand since 1970-ish. He was a good friend a great play mate during my early years. Someone who I will always remember as being kind, tender, respectful. His talents cannot be described in words, as he was virtous in so many words. I knew him before his talent was designed. I will never forget our friendship, and our kinship in music. I am so sorry for the family left behind. I know them all, and hope they remember me in someway as their paper girl. Rest in peace James, always!

  • Blessings to you as you say your good byes! I will miss him and the man he came to be.
    Barb (Wargo) Romanik

  • My Great Friend James Brand. Master musician and fantastic man. Just one of those guys you always remember as a great person. This is how I would describe him among all our friends at Ohio State back in the 80’s. He was the Tom Hanks of our group. He just had an uplifting personality. He could talk to anyone without intimidation, had a wit about him so as to catch every little nuance in any conversation. He could figure out the good guys from the bad guys within a second. God gifted him in so many areas.

    I enjoyed collaborating with him on songs about 8 years ago, he was essential in his encouragement and words of advice. I loved him as I loved my brother. I will always look up to him. I cannot wait to meet him in heaven where we can jam again!

    John Martin Fort Wayne, Indiana