I met Brion 40 years ago at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.  I was a young circuit design engineer, fresh out of college, and Brion became my manager when I joined the Micro/370 team in the Computer Science department.

 

Brion was a great mentor, a good listener and friend, and the best person I have ever worked for in my career. He was a kind and caring person. Brion once drove me to the emergency room at the local Westchester hospital when I became sick from food poisoning and stayed with me till three in the morning.  He was wise, funny and knew how to motivate people.  Brion built and led a great Micro/370 team from a diverse, eclectic group of engineers and programmers.  He always gave great counsel at work, teaching me how to stay focused and ignore “the noise.”  Brion created the “Six Ways to Save Time” list which was practical and funny (the list had the caption “Don’t Let The Turkeys Get You Down”).  I even used this list to teach my son, Alex.

 

  1. FOCUS on YOUR Work

  2. Don’t use the telephone

  3. Send “Interested” people to Brion.

  4. Clear your desk.

  5. No meetings.

  6. Always say NO.

 

I have many stories and memories but there is one memory that I will always treasure.  A few years ago, while going through a shoe box full of memories I found this $330 check from Brion.

 

I smiled when I remembered why he gave me the check.   Brion had talked to me about proper business dress code, and he had a detailed clothing list: button-down shirt and suit from Brooks Brothers, Burberry trench coat, shoes from Church’s etc. etc.  I remember going to Church’s and realizing that I couldn’t afford the wing-tip shoes on Brion’s list.  When I told Brion about it, he immediately took his checkbook out and wrote me this check to buy the shoes.  I never cashed the check and returned it to him a few years ago.

 

Brion, you have made a difference in this world, and you have made a difference with me.  We will always remember your smile, kindness, wisdom and selflessness.

John Hou