TRAVERSE CITY — Julian Wesley Brigham, 100, has “Gone Fishing” beyond the next bend on March 9, 2013. A trout fisherman from way back, he was born on Sept. 11, 1912, in Buckley, to his parents, Clarence and Zell Brigham.
As a young boy growing up in Buckley he and his brother, Lyle, and occasionally his brother, Aaron, would hitch a ride with the train, head toward Sherman and get off the train when it took on water. They would trout fish their way back to Buckley with a “nice mess” of Brookies.
Julian and his family moved to Kalamazoo when he was a young teenager furthering his education.
His career evolved into sales and management in the business machine world of the Burroughs Corp. and with Sutherland, Brown and James River Paper Companies until his retirement.
Along the way in 1937 Julian married Esther F. Barhyte, of Buffalo, N.Y., and in 1938 a son, Kent Wesley, was born. The family of three moved about the Midwest due to transfer and persuasions of Julian’s career. One of his associates quoted Julian saying, “All of my customers like to fish,” which soon became a classic. Another remembrance from his Esther was, “If only he would look at me like he looks at a Brook Trout” – that too became a standard. Esther F. Brigham preceded Julian in death, passing in 2005 after 68 years of marriage.
Julian had five siblings; brothers, Lyle and Aaron; and sister, Faye Reed (100) predeceased Julian; brother, Charles (Barbara); and sister, Jackie Howard, reside in the Interlochen area.
Surviving families are Kent and his wife, Jane Brigham; grandchildren, Glen (Jonna) Brigham and Kelly (Dan) Lynk; great-grandchildren, Caroline and Scott Brigham, Jazemine Hairston (adopted) and Justin, Jessica and Jillian Lynk, all of Kalamazoo, and Katie Richardson, U.S. Navy; and great-great-granddaughters, Chaylar and Kaylin, of Hawaii. In recent years Julia Egan became important to Julian as a close friend and primary care giver.