|Van Eugene Brighton|
|Date Of Birth:||June 11, 1948|
|Date Of Death:||November 9, 2011|
|Service Date:||10:00 am, Saturday, November 12, 2011
Trinity Presbyterian Church
Van Brighton, 63, embarked on his sacred journey on November 9,
2011. He was born on June 11, 1948, in Junction City, the only son
of Bernice Lafferty Brighton and Dale Eugene Brighton. He is
survived by his wife, Jan; mother, Bernice; daughter, Kristin, and
husband, Ben Ward; son, Michael, and wife, Heather; stepson, Bren
McMillen; and four grandchildren: Ryan and Kate Ward, and Mary and
Andrew Brighton. He is reuniting with his father and all
grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Van spent his childhood in Irving and Frankfort, before spending
his teen years in Kansas City, Kansas. He was a standout athlete in
track and basketball at Washington High School, selected as athlete
of the year for the class of 1966. He attended Kansas State
University, where he pledged the Beta Theta Phi house, studied
physical education, and served as a basketball manager under Cotton
Fitzsimmons. He graduated in 1970, and continued to closely follow
K-State sports the rest of his life.
Upon college graduation, he married Sandy Millsap and taught at
Lucky High School before becoming the club pro and later club
manager for Stagg Hill Golf Course. He spent many years in the golf
business, at Stagg Hill and later at the Manhattan Country Club.
Golf -- and more importantly, teaching golf -- was a
lifelong passion to which he returned many times in his
After leaving the Manhattan Country Club, he worked with Casper
Building Services and then at Keating and Associates, before
purchasing Green's Book Store, which he renamed Office World.
In the late 1980s, Van went to work for Borck Brothers Menswear
before moving to Kansas City to work for Verl's Custom Tailors on
the Country Club Plaza. In 1989, he married Jan, and they made
their home together in Kansas City. They decided to move back to
Manhattan in 1994 to be closer to his children, his mother, and the
community he loved.
With this move, Van returned to his passion, golf. He opened his
own golf academy and gave hundreds of private golf lessons, to both
adults and youth of all levels. As a coach, he touched the lives of
many young people -- mentoring them both in golf and in life.
In 2004, Van took an opportunity to open his own property
management business, moving to Lawrence to work side-by-side with
Jan who had become a realtor for Stephens Real Estate. Together
they became quite a team, assisting clients -- many who became dear
friends -- find the perfect home.
A true Renaissance man with a lot of passion and knowledge about
a multitude of topics, Van also devoted himself to an ongoing quest
to learn about natural health, nutrition, wellness and
spirituality. Through this journey, he made many long-lasting
friendships with kindred spirits across the globe. After being
diagnosed with cancer, he approached his battle in his own way, and
did so with confidence and peace in his decisions. As a final gift
to the world, Van's eyes were donated to help others.
Van has touched the lives of thousands of people and will be
greatly missed. Please join his family as we honor him with a
funeral service held in Manhattan at 10:00 am, Saturday, November
12, 2011 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1110 College Avenue,
in Manhattan. Internment will immediately follow the service at
Sunrise Cemetery in Manhattan. All friends are also invited to a
Celebration of Life, which will be held from 2 to 4 pm Sunday,
November 13, at the Lawrence Country Club, 400 Country Club