Brian Honan–Teacher

By John Lawn, State Representative, 10th Middlesex,
St. Patrick’s High School Class of 1987

I was 16 years old and starting my junior year in high school when I first met Brian Honan. He did not look that much older than the seniors in the school and certainly didn’t look old enough to be a teacher. He was my homeroom teacher and was just a few years older than us.

Brian quickly became a favorite with the students and faculty. I think what made him the teacher and person that he was, was his ability to listen to kids and respect them. I knew Brian and remained close to him from this time until he left us. He was a man who was secure in himself and could relate to just about every person and young adult. He was “one of us”. I remember us having a wild time in homeroom and in Psychology class. He would always ask us when other teachers or the principle were around, “to behave so that he didn’t get in trouble”.

Brian was young and loved basketball, like myself at that time. I used to talk to him about anything that I had going on in my life. We both had parents that were Irish and we would play basketball together at Saltonstall Park after school. Of course he talked trash, but he could back it up.

His time at St. Patrick’s was short, but his contributions to my friends and myself will never be forgotten. Kids at the high school age often do not have an adult friend or parent that they can open up to. He would listen and give sound advice on many of the issues that face teenagers.

I often think of the ties that he wore and how his shirt would always be untucked. I feel lucky to have known him for as long as I did. I must confess that I may not remember much about what I learned in Psychology class my junior year in high school. However, I continued to learn from him and still do to this day. He treated the custodian with the same respect as the principle. To him everyone deserved respect and that is why he his life was so important to such a broad group of people that called him their friend.

I remember standing outside in the rain at his wake and looking at all the people standing there in the rain. There were people who he taught at St. Patrick’s, politicians from all over, cops and firemen, teachers and union workers, and people of many different nationalities. These were all people that Brian was able to relate to. He was a friend to all. His death is a terrible loss. I try to honor Brian by treating every person that I come across in life with respect.