Brian Gockel Obituary, Death – Brian Gockel died on November 13, 2022. Brian was born on July 14, 1970, in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Ken and Marilyn Gockel. His father was transferred to Ellsworth Air Force Base two years later, and he and his family moved to Box Elder. They were the “only military family who never got to tour the world,” and Brian spent his whole life in Douglas, South Dakota, where he played baseball and was a member of the 1994 Douglas 11A football South Dakota State Championship team. He graduated from Douglas High School in 1998, making him a member of the “12-year club.”
Brian was a staunch supporter of education. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from South Dakota State University. He eventually enrolled at the University of Nebraska, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in 2012. He was the first Director of Communication for the Associated School Board of South Dakota, where he promoted public education from 2005 until 2012. He moved to Sioux Falls in 2012 to start his professional career with Sanford Health, where he worked in marketing analytics strategy and business development. During this time, he was a member of the 2018 Leadership South Dakota class.
Brian was a visionary, an exceptional communicator, a riveting storyteller, and a firm believer in the power of community. His ability to efficiently manage projects and tough themes while combining knowledge, creativity, and excitement enabled him to accomplish great things. He was a fervent supporter of the issues he believed in, and his ability to bring people together was one of his greatest assets. On a daily basis, Brian’s Christian faith maintained and strengthened him, and he treasured Philippians 4:13. Brian has found peace with Jesus and will very probably give us a reunion party when we arrive. Brian Gockel Strategy had recently established his own organization to specialize on second-stage business growth, and he approached his days with optimism, saw the world through a religious perspective, and actively invested in those around him.
While living in Pierre, Brian met his Loveliest, Lisa Johansen. They married in 2015, cementing his job as a “unpaid photo intern,” and they have a wonderful life together in Sioux Falls. Brian worked tirelessly for his causes, but his heart and priorities were always with Lisa, his family, and his friends. Brian and Lisa sought adventure by traveling across the country, camping in South Dakota state parks, and immersing themselves in the downtown culture of Sioux Falls. Football (Go Cowboys! ), cooking, and music by Bob Dylan, The Beastie Boys, and Lizzo were all favorites of his. In the Sioux Falls Tecmo Siouxper Bowl, he won three bouts.
Brian’s power spanned the entire country. He had a vast number of contacts, yet he was always available to answer the phone, make someone laugh, or offer counsel in a difficult circumstance. Brian’s warmth, sparkling grin, booming laugh, and vibrant, genuine demeanor made an impression on everyone around him. Nobody could make a room laugh like Brian; his stories were epic, and his wit and sense of humor were unlimited. Brian is survived by his wife, Lisa; parents, Ken and Marilyn Gockel; brothers, Richard (Angela) Gockel and Shane Gockel; aunt, Jolene Falk; cousin, Michael (Surasi) Falk; uncle, Dale (Linda) Yunginger; uncle, Keith (Mary) Gockel; parents-in-law, Dale (Linda) Johansen;