BRIAN FLEURY 1967-2007

The other person I wish to thank this evening for being “yeast” to our school community, and whose influence throughout this school is I believe greater that we can ever estimate, is our colleague and our athletic director, Brian Fleury. Brian has, as long as he has been a member of our community, had to fight disease, and we know this summer he will continue that fight with another bone marrow transplant in Boston. Yet to know Brian is to know that his life is not about him: it is about his wife, his son, and his commitment to us at Delbarton. He takes up his job every day with enthusiasm and joy, without any sense of self-absorption. In a world that wishes us to become selfish and greedy for possessions, security and safety, we have in Brian a man on a high wire who takes all of us on his shoulders and carries us, cares for us, works and sweats for us, balances our lives, gives himself for us. He acts with generosity because he loves: loves his wife, his son, his life, and how he can make a difference. How can we not help but be inspired by him? How could we call him anything but “hero”? His example teaches us that we must care for others too with each day and in every opportunity. Brian gives us that safety net of acceptance and example of love, and so we must do the same for others. Brian, know that our prayers are with you as you anticipate going to Boston, and that we are and always will be behind you. And thank you Brian for influencing for the good every one of us in the Delbarton community.”   

Fr. Luke Travers ~ Headmaster of Delbarton School
Speaking at the Senior Baccalaureate Dinner

“A person who is able to truly impact another’s life usually possesses a strong and often intangible quality.  Over the past four years, Mr. Brian Fleury has not only displayed this certain quality, but has demonstrated it in an unassuming manner.  Mr. Fleury has been my baseball coach for three years and is my English teacher this year at Delbarton.  Outwardly, Coach Fleury has influenced me in many obvious ways.  He has greatly improved my baseball skills in every aspect of the game: hitting, fielding, and base running.  I take everything he says seriously because I know that he played baseball at a very high level when he was younger.  In the classroom, he has improved my reading comprehension in only a short period of time.  I have a great deal of respect for him as a teacher because he speaks so passionately about his beliefs.

However, it is not his coaching or teaching abilities that have had the greatest influence on me.  Without a doubt, what has affected me most is the way he handles the cards he has been dealt in life with such courage and humility.  Coach Fleury was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease in college.  Ever since, he has fought a personal battle with this horrible disease that surfaces periodically.  He undergoes painful treatments just about every day and rarely ever feels healthy.  Yet, if you were not told that Coach Fleury had Hodgkin’s Disease, you would never know that he had been diagnosed with a life threatening illness.  Through all of his suffering he finds a way to be our Athletic Director at Delbarton, a tremendous baseball coach, an inspiring English teacher, and a loving husband and father.  And he does all of this without ever complaining.  In my eyes, Mr. Fleury is a hero in the true sense of the word.  He is a courageous man who I, along with everyone who knows him, admire.  He has shown me that no matter what happens to me in life, I can find a way to deal with it.  He has taught me how to display strength and humility at the same time.  For the last four years I have tried to get to know Mr. Fleury as best as I can.  I continue to “learn” from him daily in every sense of the word.  I can only hope and aspire that one day I will be able to look in the mirror and see someone who knows the true meaning of life.  And when I do, somewhere in that reflection I will catch a glimpse of Mr. Brian Fleury.”

Daniel DeGeorge ’05 ~ Captain of the Delbarton Baseball team
Writing his college essay to Princeton