New: IPR Station ID, edited after Brian's death, featuring Brian and his last group of on-air student announcers.

The staff at Indiana Public Radio always talks about being a part of "the IPR family." To us, family is the best word to describe the relationship not only between staff members, but also the relationship we have with our listeners. We love and depend on one another in a unique coalescence of shared love for public radio. No individual embodied that love like our own Brian Eckstein. Brian was the heartbeat of this family, and we were shocked and saddened beyond belief when he passed away on Nov. 21, 2011.

It's difficult, if not downright impossible to convey in a single article what losing Brian Eckstein means to the Indiana Public Radio family. For the staff, from a purely professional point of view, we dearly miss our "do-it-all" man. There was rarely a task that needed to be done that Brian didn't do - with a smile on his face, more often than not. More importantly, Brian was the heartbeat of our team. His experience and expertise, of course, is unparalleled, but he brought a passion and excitement to working in public radio that the rest of us try our best to mimic. He played so many roles at the station: counselor to staff and students in their difficult times; comedian in moments of hilarity (or in need of levity); repairman whenever anything went wrong; vocal coach to anyone who hadn't been on air before pledge drive; and friend, always a friend. His sense of humor and generosity of spirit were impossible to contain, and impossible to replace.

This article is not a story of Brian's life - The Star Press ran an excellent story, written by Michelle Kinsey, the week of his death. This is yet another small tribute to the man who left such a large mark on the world.

- Kristen Bitzegaio

If you'd like an opportunity to share your own memory of Brian, check back. We'll be adding a special section soon. If you'd like to do something additionally to remember Brian, his family asks that you make a gift in Brian's memory to
St. Francis of Assisi or Indiana Public Radio.