COMMUNITY, Obituaries

Obituary: Brian Fields West

Brian Fields West, M.D. of Beaverton, Oregon, passed away on August 20, 2023.

Brian was born on May 13, 1983, in Salem, Oregon to David and Mary Grace West. A valedictorian at Sprague High School, Brian was a scholar-athlete whose accomplishments earned him a sponsorship from Reebok for his USTA junior tennis. His scholarly ambitions led Brian to Duke University where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2005 and was selected to the honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Playing an active role on campus, Brian served as founding president of the LGBTQ student organization and in leadership roles in his fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon. He spent his junior year abroad in Germany and was selected to return to Berlin as an intern at the Ecologic Institute in 2005 after graduation.

His curiosity and love of travel took him to London where he obtained a Master’s Degree in European Politics and Governance at the London School of Economics. Brian returned to North Carolina to briefly work in the Duke Talent Identification Program as a residential counselor leading high school students in China. He remained in North Carolina to explore the intersection of socio-political systems, community health, and advocacy at the Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health, Dept. of Psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill.

On June 13, 2015, he married Antonio Brunson, who he lovingly called “Bello.” In order to delve deeper into the world of community mental health, Brian then earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from St. George’s University in 2019 before continuing his career in Oregon at Lifeworks NW. Committing himself wholly to his community health work, he advocated for his patients, assisted team members and suggested process changes from his first day.

Brian played tennis, enjoyed gaming with friends, explored new recipes for his dinners with Antonio, continued studies in political science and medicine and cherished spending time with his two Feist terriers, Lelu and Corbin.

Of all his accomplishments, Brian is remembered most for his quiet compassion, humility, and generosity as a loving husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. Dressing up as a honey badger and dinosaur for Halloween, Brian wasn’t afraid to be silly. He delighted in sending his niece and nephew toys and stickers, assuring them they were always in his heart. All who met Brian could see the warmth and kindness in his eyes.

Brian is survived by his husband Antonio, mother Mary Grace, brothers Colin and Evan, sister-in-law Karen, niece Cora, nephew James, aunt Peggy Watson, cousin Jamie Watson, his terrier, Lelu and countless friends across the world. Brian is preceded in death by his father, Dr. David West, his uncle, Bob Watson, and his terrier, Corbin. A private celebration of life honoring Brian will be held in September.

–Submitted information