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Brian K. Anderson

07/03/1969 - 01/19/2021
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Brian K. Anderson, age 51, of Butte des Morts, died unexpectedly, January 19, 2021.

Brian was born July 3, 1969, to Kenneth and Geraldine (Duc) Anderson in Readstown, Wisconsin. He graduated from Kickapoo High School in 1987. After high school Brian joined the Army Reserves, serving in the 107th Maintenance Company out of Viroqua, Wisconsin while attending college at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His service included a year of active duty which took him to the Middle East, serving in Desert Storm. In 1992 he graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering degree.  

Brian joined Oshkosh Defense in 1992 and worked there until his death. He was instrumental in advancing innovation and process improvements throughout the company, including being part of the TAK-4 invention team. Over the course of his career, Brian was awarded 10 U.S. patents in suspension, frame, and all-wheel steering innovations. He was a Certified Project Management Professional and Certified Systems Engineering Professional. 

Brian also met his wife, Jonna, at Oshkosh Defense. They had two beautiful daughters, Mackenzie and Megan. Brian always enjoyed pointing out “his suspension” to his daughters whenever we happened to see an Oshkosh vehicle or Pierce fire truck on the road. They were thrilled to know their dad’s invention is on products all over the world.

He enjoyed boating, jet skiing, kayaking, hiking and traveling with this family. Brian loved going on his stand-up jet ski on windy days so he could jump the waves or going up the Fox and Wolf Rivers on the sit downs. He was an avid snowmobiler and proud of the many miles he would put on his sled each winter with his buddies. He loved watching his girls play volleyball and was a huge Wisconsin Badger fan.

Brian is survived by his wife, Jonna (Gray); daughters Mackenzie and Megan; brothers, Kevin (Sara), and Kris (Jolene) Anderson; sister Inga (Paul) Overlein; father-in-law, Carl Gray; brother-in-law, Carl (Sheila) Gray; nieces, Isabel, Anya, Greta, Kristen, Elizabeth, and Emma; nephews, Cody (Rebecca) and Alec Gray, and Joseph Anderson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Geraldine Anderson; and mother-in-law, Faye Gray.

A celebration of life for family and friends will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2021, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Fin n Feather (upstairs) 22 W. Main St. Winneconne. Mueller Funeral Home-Winneconne is assisting the family with arrangements.

The family would like to thank the first responders and police officers who made every attempt to save him. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Brian’s name can be made to the Winneconne/Poygan Fire District.

If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.


Bart Heldke wrote on March 1, 2021
Jonna, my deepest condolences. Brian and I graduated from UW Madison together and as he went to Oshkosh, my journey made it to Ford Motor Company but we stayed in touch over the years and I just spent a couple hours chatting with him when he last came to Dearborn last year working on the USPS mail truck proposal. I'm shocked and truly saddened by this news. Prayers to you and your family.

Geof Schmitz wrote on February 3, 2021
I would like to express my most sincere condolences to Brian's family. It was my pleasure to work with Brian during the original independent suspension development at OTC. Brian was an excellent engineer.

Tanya DeBoth wrote on January 29, 2021
My deepest condolences to you and your family. I was not fortunate enough to get a chance to know Brian, but I fully understand what an incredible impact he had on his coworkers. He will be missed. Please know you and your family are in my heart and in my thoughts during this difficult time.

Randy Wacek wrote on January 27, 2021
Jonna, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. May you experience a peace that surpasses all understanding during this very difficult time.

Lewis Kennebrew wrote on January 27, 2021
My deepest condolences to Brian's family. I worked with Brian briefly as a contractor to Oshkosh and he was a great person to collaborate with. Always inquisitive, always insightful, and always with a smile. He will be missed.

Chris and Ginger Yakes wrote on January 27, 2021
Jonna, Our prayers are with you and your family. Brian was one of the first friends we made when we moved to Oshkosh over 20 years ago. His smile, charm and enthusiasm for excitement and “Techy” things made life fun around him. I had the awesome opportunity to work closely with him on some exciting engineering programs and greatly value the knowledge, wisdom, and leadership he provided all of us engineers at Oshkosh Corp. You would always find him in the middle of figuring out complex problems that often involved many, many variables that would make your head spin. He lived for that. Brian was a good person and we are honored to have known and worked with him.

Patrick Dillman and Family wrote on January 26, 2021
Our thoughts are with you and the family in this difficult time. Brian always had an indomitable spirit and a deep passion for work and life when I had the occasion to work with him. He leaves a lasting impression on our Oshkosh family and is greatly missed and remembered for the phenomenal person he was.

Kathryn Enderby wrote on January 26, 2021
Jonna and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I was shocked and saddened to hear the news. Brian was very integral in working with Duane Pillar being the catalyst of the Defense Engineering PMO at Oshkosh. I read through the other guestbook entries and experienced all the zest, energy and intelligence described of Brian. He still kept in touch with our group, and the work we were doing even as he moved on to other roles in the organization. He will be missed.

Jacquelynn Voss wrote on January 26, 2021
My condolences to you and your family. I had the opportunity to work with Brian a few times at Oshkosh and chat with him at the group's happy hours. I enjoyed the enthusiasm and perspective he brought to every conversation. My heart and thoughts go out to you in this difficult time.

Richard Bast wrote on January 26, 2021
I met Brian during "Team Building" events after work. He was always a joy to be around with story telling and other conversations. I will miss him. My condolences to Jonna and family.

Dave, Heather, and Evie Steinberger wrote on January 25, 2021
Jonna my whole family was deeply saddened by Brian's passing. As a young engineer he always took the time to get me caught up to speed, and he never blinked at offering for me to use the extra sled or jet ski. Even though we also drifted apart these last years, he will be missed.

Ruth Toetz wrote on January 25, 2021
My deepest condolences Jonna, Mackenzie and Megan. When we worked together Brian often challenged me on words used, he said they mattered! He would encourage one to view all sides before choosing a path. I enjoyed hearing of his adventure story's and watching him with his girls during the times they would tag along with him to the office on Saturdays! Rest in peace.

Jim Lemmer wrote on January 25, 2021
Jonna, Megan and Mackenzie' my deepest sympathy to you. Brian was truly a special engineer. Loved working with him and his insight into the deep subject of intellectual property law. I still have the spreadsheet fuel mileage calculator Brian developed to show how much extra it cost to drive a little faster to get from Oshkosh to Lake Tomahawk. Incidentally, driving 80 mph saves .61 hours and consumes an extra 3.5 gallons on the 300 mile trip in the 5.3L Envoy...just Brian!! My prayers are with you all. Jim

Ken Murkley wrote on January 25, 2021
So sorry to hear this Jonna. Please know that you and your families are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless all of you.

Johnnie Johnson wrote on January 25, 2021
I've only worked at Oshkosh Defense for about 1yr, and didn't get a chance to know Brian personally, but from what I've read in his obituary, Brian is a guy, I would enjoyed working with and possibly hanging out with after work. I want to share my deepest condolences to Brain's surviving immediate family

Xiaobo Yang wrote on January 25, 2021
Brain is one of a very few people I met at my first day joining OSK. Since then we had several chances to talk about technology development. Brian's positive attitude and willing to sharing his knowledge impressed me a lot. I truly miss him. I am so sorry to loose such a talent engineer in OSK.

Chris Rukas wrote on January 25, 2021
Brian will be missed. I thoroughly enjoyed his perspective on life and work, his positive attitude, and willingness to share his wealth of knowledge. It was great getting to know Brian through Pillar's once-a-month after work events, and it was always a delight to see him at the INCOSE meetings. You have my deepest sympathies.

Gary and Tina Schmiedel wrote on January 24, 2021
Jonna - Please accept our deepest sympathy. Brian made the most of every opportunity, whether he was out on the water, speeding down a snow covered trail in the north woods or tackling a professional challenge. We feel honored to have him as a friend and colleague. He will be deeply missed.

Jack Koch wrote on January 23, 2021
It’s been 22 years since I worked daily with Brian on the MTVR independent suspension (I was the supplier facing guy). He was a brilliant engineer and a very interesting person to talk to with a real zest for life. I really enjoyed him and considered him a friend. In the years since I left Oshkosh, I have thought of him often and am so sorry to hear this news. My sincere condolences go out to his family.

Phil Hendriks wrote on January 23, 2021
So sad. The news of Brian’s death has been surreal in so many ways. I can imagine the heartache, as we have only a week ago said goodbye to my mom, sister to Geraldine and Aunt to Brian. The suddenness of Brian’s passing however, goes beyond heartache and your sadness must be immeasurable. My memories of Brian always lead to his genuine smile. Whether visiting in Wisconsin or time spent here, on the farm in Ontario, his smile was warm and constant. But don't let his warm smile fool you, because it was in his big open eyes, excited about any plan for play that included adventure, that gave away his true spirit. His enthusiasm was infectious, and it is these memories that have filled my mornings these last few days. All our love, and deepest result condolences your cousin from Canada, Phil.

Brad Bauknecht wrote on January 23, 2021
I was devastated to hear of Brian's passing. He and I worked together over many years on everything from patents to proposals to technical data rights. Those were pretty dry topics, but working with Brian made them enjoyable. He was a brilliant guy--always interested in seeing deep below the surface--and he always radiated enthusiasm and happiness. We also talked about volleyball and other things outside of work--and it's clear he loved his family deeply. My sincerest condolences to Jonna, Mackenzie, Megan and all of his friends and coworkers.

Mike Thompson wrote on January 23, 2021
Brian and I met during 4th grade basketball games at the small rural Readstown and West Lima schools. We were skinny kids with wire rimmed glasses jumping around in well worn oversized school issued jerseys. We would go on to be Kickapoo middle and high school classmates, best friends, University of Wisconsin-Madison roommates and Wisconsin Army National Guard buddies. He was the best man at my wedding. Brian was intelligent, charismatic and a charmer with a quick laugh and sidelong glance. He was a mechanical engineer who loved gadgets. He could be meticulous, loved to be right and prove it! He was an instigator in our college “neighbors” friend group! He was proud of his work and career at Oshkosh Truck. I appreciated calling Brian for sensible advice on cars, outboard motors and so many other life matters. As adults, we were blessed to stay connected and watch our families enjoy camping, boating, fishing and hanging out together. Brian and Jonna, Stephanie and I smiled as we listened to Mackenzie, Megan and our daughters laughing around campfires. One night, using a flashlight, Brian helped gin up a hammock out of an tattered tarp, sticks off the ground and a frayed piece of rope so my youngest daughter could sleep outside overnight with the older kids. The hammocks were stacked four high between the trees! He will always be “Uncle Brian” to my girls. Brian was a farm kid from the ridges and valleys of southwest Wisconsin. I remember driving the steep gravel road to visit the Anderson family’s dairy farm at chore time and Brian, his dad and family telling stories and laughing together in the barn and later during dinner in the house. Brian and close friends would often stop at the Kickapoo Inn, Readstown, after opening day of deer hunting. Brian was a great story teller using the full wing span of his arms, animated expressions and clever punchlines that made for so many memorable card games, nights out and campfires! We were part of a group that went on a three-day kayak camping trip in the Apostle Islands one August years ago. Brian knew I was a weak swimmer and afraid of water. Lake Superior’s bone chilling cold was especially daunting. Without drawing attention, Brian was always near my kayak. A lifeguard at the ready. The trip was a memorable great adventure that I would recommend to anyone reading this. I am grieving Brian’s loss and am grateful for him being with me on that kayak trip. His friendship and brotherhood will continue to shape my life and family. Mike Thompson (Stephanie, Sophia, Chloe and Violet)

Eddie Garcia wrote on January 22, 2021
I am so saddened by Brian's untimely passing. Brian was a friend and kind soul that I had the great privilege to know for many years working at Oshkosh Defense. His great service and accomplishments to our company as well as to our great nation will always be remembered. He recently sent me a very kind note on the passing of my mother and I'll never forget it. May he rest in peace and may the good memories of Brian's awesomeness help heal the sorrow and hurt of all his family and friends in due time. God bless. Eddie

Ron Docta wrote on January 22, 2021
I did not work with Brian a lot, but I did have the opportunity to work in the same building with him and to talk to him from time to time. I always enjoyed those opportunities. He was always and engaging and happy. I was very sad when I heard he had passed. Your family, as wells as the world has lost a very good and talented person. He will be missed. You have my sympathy at this terrible time. Sincerely, Ronald Docta

Neil Engel wrote on January 22, 2021
I was shocked to hear of Brian's passing. We worked together many years ago, and I consider him one of the smartest engineers that I have met. Great guy that always seemed to have a smile on his face. My sympathies to Jonna and their daughters.

Renee Vanden Heuvel wrote on January 22, 2021
Dear Jonna, Makenzie and Megan, We are so sorry for your loss. Brian will be missed! He was always so sweet and was your biggest fan! Sending Love, peace and prayers for you all? Renee and Jeff

Michael, Jill and Kate Henze wrote on January 22, 2021
Your family is in our prayers.

Becky & Erin Fuhs wrote on January 22, 2021
Our sincerest and deepest sympathies go out to each one of you! Brian has such a kind, caring and compassionate soul that will continue to shine brightly forever! His intelligence, humor and support always made us feel so welcomed!

Steve Roehl wrote on January 22, 2021
So sorry and saddened by the news of Brian's passing. What a great coworker and friend. I will never forget his funny story telling ability and the great discussions we had. I had mistakenly spelled his name Brain several times on memos, we would laugh I would tell him it was probably appropriate. Rest in peace and deepest sympathy to Jonna and daughters.

Ryan, Michele Rowe and family wrote on January 22, 2021
Saddened by the loss of such a great co-worker and friend. Brian once told me, as I planed to work a beautiful Friday in July, that "on your death bed; will you have wished to work one more day, or go jet skiing?" We, of course, spent that Friday running up the Wolf river on his stand-up jet skis. Thank you Brian, for the perspective and the memories. You will be missed. Our love and support to Jonna, Mackenzie and Megan. -Ryan

Kathy Marshall wrote on January 22, 2021
Jonna, Mackenzie, and Megan my heart broke and my breath taken away when I heard of Brian’s passing. I worked with Bri (as I called him) for 26 years. The memories of good times at work and outside of work came rushing into my mind. My debate partner on issues and ideas that made us both think better and outside the box. The smile and sense of humor Bri always had that would brighten your day. His willingness to help when you needed it. Talking about family and the kids which he loved dearly. He will be truly missed by us all. Sending thoughts and prayers to your entire family

Peter Breyer wrote on January 22, 2021
I am so sorry to hear the news about Brian. My sympathies go out to Jonna and their daughters. Some of my best OTC/OSK memories were working on the MTVR suspension with Brian and Seth Newlin. Brian excelled at everything he did, and I was always impressed with his engineering intuition. I used to say he was the engineer's engineer and I am proud to have known him.

Matt Jach wrote on January 22, 2021
I was lucky enough to meet Brian at the UW (he lived across the hall with my brother and a collection of wonderful people) at the old 38 Breese Terrace apt and we became life-long friends. Brian was truly an incredible person and we have all become better people by simply being swept into his orbit. The loss is great but not greater than the smiles, great times, and love shared with him. He will always hold a special place in my heart. When I think of his charming smile and demeanor, I too will smile and thank the Lord for our time together. God bless, Anderson family and friends.

Gabby Allard wrote on January 22, 2021
He honestly would always make my volleyball a little bit better. Just acknowledgment of me and sometimes conversation left an impact on my day. My prayer is with you all.

Rosie (Townsend ) Welsh wrote on January 22, 2021
My deepest condolences to his family and siblings! Had so many wonderful memories growing up as neighbors with you , from babysitting you even though we are close in age and tobacco , hay , milking cows , Wonderful memories, until we meet again! Rest In Peace Brian

April Hershman wrote on January 22, 2021
I was honored to work alongside Brian on a multi-year program. He was such a kind, fun and educational soul. I knew walking into his office, I’d leave with a new lesson or piece of knowledge. Our team trips to JLG were always filled with purpose and laughter. My dang rental car was losing air in the tires and who jumped in to help me - Brian! Not only did he fill my tires but I also got a lesson on how air in tires work. Jonna - may you and your beautiful daughters be surrounded in peace knowing the impact he had on all of us! Blessings to you.

Lonna (Townsend) Rakovec wrote on January 22, 2021
You have my deepest sympathies. I knew Brian when he was young. We were neighbors and I babysat Brian, Kevin and Kris. Brian was a very intelligent child but also a little mischievous. He was always smiling so I never knew if a practical joke was about to happen. I am so glad he had the opportunity to use that intelligence. Even though I had not seen Brian for many many years I have great memories. It tears at my heart to know that he left his family and friends much to early. Remember the good times as I am sure there were lots. Jonna, MacKenzie and Megan you are in my prayers.

Rosemary Hanson & Madeline Clements wrote on January 22, 2021
We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Brian. We are Ida Worman's daughters. Our mother knew the family for many years and was very close with Ken & Gerry. This is so sad and we pray for peace for you all.

Joel & Tammy Townsend Oppriecht wrote on January 22, 2021
Sending our sympathy and love to you. Brian grew up on a farm near ours and we loved spending time with his family. He was always hardworking, kind, funny, smart, and had the best smile. May you find comfort in the words and love of family and friends. Deepest Sympathy, Tammy

Will Woolman wrote on January 22, 2021
Jonna, I am so sorry and heartbroken to hear of Brian's passing. One of the smartest and happiest guys I have ever met, I don't think I recall seeing him without a smile. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you all work through this loss.

Butch & Dixie Lieurance wrote on January 21, 2021
Ourour prayers are with you.

Joe Dawidowicz wrote on January 21, 2021
This was a terrible shock. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Jack Woelfel wrote on January 21, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great friend. Always there to help. So smart. He had a great zest for life. We had so many good times together. Even though we have not stayed close over these last few years, I will truly miss him.

Kim Roth and family wrote on January 21, 2021
My deepest condolences Jonna, Mackenzie and Megan. There are no words to express how truly sorry I am for you. Brian loved his family fully and loved enjoying the fun that life offered. I will never forget the times spent together during our visits to Wisconsin, especially the laughs. RIP dear cousin. Much love.