James Clifton de Brueys

Born on Dec. 23, 1987, to Jim and Mary T. Heffron de Brueys in Metairie, James is believed to have passed away Friday, Nov. 26, 2010, while traveling between Arno Atoll and Majuro in the Marshall Islands, where he was serving for a year as a volunteer teacher with World Teach. James, 22, lived in Kenner most of his life, attending Seven Oaks Preschool, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for his elementary years, and Brother Martin High School in New Orleans. He attended LSU in Baton Rouge, where he graduated in December 2009 with a bachelor of arts in anthropology and a minor in Spanish. He was on the Chancellor's Honor Roll 2006-07 and the Dean's List in 2007-08 and 2008-09. James participated in the LSU Academic Program Abroad in Spain in 2008-09. During the time of his education and prior to leaving for the Marshall Islands, he worked as a tutor with Peer+Plus, bartender with the Chimes and DJ with KLSU. James distinguished himself in many ways in less than 23 years. He won awards for chess, was a Boy Scout, played Babe Ruth Baseball, and served as an altar boy in elementary school. He attended the U.S. Space Camp and later Aviation Challenge, where he won the Top Gun Award. As a Brother Martin Crusader, he worked with the Big Buddy Program, graduated with honors, won the Outstanding English Student Award in 2006, served as a Eucharistic minister, was in the NHS and the National Honor Society for Science, won a Brother Martin Leadership Award and was the first graduate of Brother Martin to play five consecutive years of rugby for the Crusader Rugby Club ("Collars Up"). He was captain of the rugby team and received an award for Outstanding Underclassman during the high school rugby state competition. He participated in parkour, studied capoeira and played in bands with his friends for parties as well as for efforts such as Relay for Life in high school and college. James was recipient of the LSU Centennial Award, named a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Eta Sigma at LSU, and was voted the Hottest Bartender in Baton Rouge in 2008. He won fourth place in his division at the International Beard and Moustache Competition in Alaska in 2009, was the developer of Snee and the legend of Hypervaria, creator of Blurry Monkey Productions, declared the "alpha dog" among close friends and Co-Founder of The League. James was serving for a year as a teacher in the Marshall Islands, where he was stationed since August, and future plans included a possible second year with World Teach, graduate school in Hawaii in anthropology, and/or teaching English in Spain. James is survived by his parents, Mary T. and Jim; his sister, Michelle, her husband, Patrick McCrary, their two children, Madison and Blake; his sister, André, her husband, John Cardinale; his brother, Steven; his sister, Simone; maternal grandmother, Mary T. Heffron, and paternal grandfather, Warren C. de Brueys; maternal aunts, Margaret Heffron and Paula (Mrs. Danny) Moran; maternal uncle, John Heffron; paternal aunt, Denise de Brueys; other aunts and uncles; cousins; and many devoted friends. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Norman C. Heffron; paternal grandmother, Mary H. de Brueys; and maternal uncle, Kevin M. Heffron. Honorary pallbearers are Steven de Brueys, Brandon Allen, Douglas Alongia, Brett Bordelon, Craig Clement, Adam Delaune, Luis Erazo, Chris Vizzini, and Rhett Ward. A memorial Mass in celebration of James' life will be held on Thursday, Dec. 9, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Baton Rouge at 11 a.m. celebrated by the Rev. Gerald Burns. Family and friends are welcome to gather at 10:30 a.m. for greeting and silent prayer. Donations from those interested are appreciated in James' honor and should be noted as made in James de Brueys' name to WorldTeach, c/o Center for International Development, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, MA 02138. Please mark The James de Brueys Fund on the subject line. Donations can also be made at the World Teach website, www.worldteach.org. Press the "Donate Now" button at the top right corner, and include James' name in the "Purpose" section. Funds contributed will be used by World Teach for James' students in the Marshall Islands via projects James initiated and hoped to complete in his time there.

Published in TheAdvocate.com from Dec. 7 to Dec. 8, 2010