A few weeks ago, a man from the homeless community of Santa Barbara passed away on the local library lawn. His name was Brian “Gabriel” Olgeirson. He was 39 years old. On Thursday, August 9th, friends gathered at Alameda Park for a memorial service in Brian’s honor. Many shared their fond memories and thankfulness for their friend’s generous and kind personality; their words made it apparent how valued he was as a member of his community. A few people sang Brian’s favorite songs and played music that he had enjoyed. The time was a gift to all who attended.
One of Brian’s closest friends, Paul Talias, shared that his friend was a chef who had left the Bay Area for Santa Barbara. When he arrived, Brian continued to pursue his culinary career for a short time. Paul testifies that Brian was “all heart,” someone who would gladly sacrifice for his friends and help anyone who needed it. He fed people and gave what he had to anyone who asked of him. Paul would want Brian to be remembered for his generosity and kindness, how people wanted to be in his presence, and how he remained optimistic throughout his short life.
Brian leaves behind his father, two brothers, and a beautiful daughter who just graduated from high school. His many friends miss him, mourn his absence, and remember him with deep affection. Thanks to all who coordinated and shared at his memorial service. We will continue to remember our friend Brian and the other men and women who have passed away on the streets of Santa Barbara.
Written by Kyli Sessions