Mystic, CT — Brian Nicholl Mogel, 59, died at home surrounded by loved ones on January 8, 2014. He was born in Orange, N.J., and later moved to Danvers and then Swampscott, Mass., where he attended Swampscott High School. Before moving to Mystic, Conn., he attended UMass Amherst. He was drawn to Mystic by his love of classic boats, and became a boat builder and finish carpenter at Mystic Seaport, helping to build the Voyager, Mystic Clipper and Argia, as well as various classic skiffs. He also worked in Stonington at Zuckermann Harpsichords. He built close copies of reproductions from the small selection of antique harpsichords remaining in the world, such as the Fretted Clavichord and French Double Harpsichord. His ardor for creating with wood only grew and he joined this passion with his love of playing guitar. He built round-top guitars inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
In the early 1980s, Brian switched career paths. He joined the original Gunther International Team as a contract technical writer. He was soon hired as a full-time engineer and took a major role in advancing Gunther’s vision and software technology. In 1998 he had a memorable extended stay in Japan when Gunther installed a state-of-the-art system in the Japanese Patent Office. By the time Brian left the company in the early 2000s, he was manager of software development. Brian then moved to Rochester, N.Y., and was employed by Videk as a project manager for the invisicode product line, helping to manage both software and hardware teams. He developed various patents for Videk and worked closely with Hewlett-Packard engineers to help design the InviCode printers and readers. Brian was an extremely talented and valued employee with a wonderful, creative mind and an ability to inspire the team.
Brian returned to Mystic in 2004, and worked at Defender Industries in Waterford, Conn., as an eCommerce manager and search engine optimizer until the onset of his disease, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).
Brian was an inquisitive, brilliant and introspective man, who loved learning and was continually challenging himself as he explored new interests throughout his short life. He was an accomplished blues guitarist and often played at Dinosaurs Blues Club while living in Rochester. Each summer, he went to Monhegan Island to paint with his mother, both of whom were accomplished watercolorists. He respected nature and loved the quiet beauty of Blissville Pond in Lisbon, Conn., where he lived for many years.
During the past 10 years, he developed a passion for growing and photographing orchids. This love evolved into a photographic archive with hundreds of orchid photos from his collection of more than 200 live orchids. He was awarded an honorable mention at Mystic Arts Center for his submission of “Little Stars” in an annual juried photo show and was awarded dozens of ribbons for his orchid photos at the orchid shows he traveled to in the Northeast. From there, he developed an online orchid photo card and print business. He designed and launched his own website and developed and managed websites for other orchid businesses around the country.
In his spare time, he enjoyed sailing and raising oriental lilies. He loved classic cars and restored a vintage Mustang. His blue 1999 Corvette convertible was one of his greatest joys. He was generous and kind to all who came into contact with him and could get people laughing with his keen humor, many vignettes of which are recalled in the book he completed as a rough draft.
During his lengthy illness, he was lovingly cared for by his wife, Joanne. In his last year, Brian's devoted hospice team provided guidance, expertise and compassion, and each is remembered for their loving contribution.
Brian leaves behind his wife, Joanne Dorman of Mystic; stepsons, Jeff Steel of Mystic, and Greg Steel and his wife, Laura, of Glastonbury; sister-in-law, Susan Dorman of Mystic; brothers-in-law, John and Bob Dorman; and mother-in-law Marilyn Dorman, all of Michigan. He also sadly leaves behind his mother, Suzanne Mogel of Swampscott, Mass.; his siblings, Duane Carpenter, Cassandra Bishop of Milton-Freewater, Ore., Bonnie Bishop of Altoona, Fla., Laurie Levine of Marblehead, Mass., and Melinda Mogel of Somerville, Mass.; and his nephew, Daniel Levine of Aurora, Colo.
ARRANGEMENTS: Mystic Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Brian’s wish was to have a private Celebration of Life when it is warm and sunny. Contributions may be made to The Center for Hospice of SE Connecticut, or CurePSP.org.