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June 1, 1962 – April 3, 2024

Berkeley, California - It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, uncle and friend to many, surrounded by his loving family. Brett was born in San Antonio, TX to Richard and Carol Estes. Brett was an outstanding athlete at Beyer H.S. in baseball and football, winning many awards and graduating in 1981. In May of 1979, while still only a sophomore in high school, Brett was in a swimming accident that left him a quadriplegic. After graduating from Beyer, Brett was one of only five students that was admitted to UC Berkeley with a scholarship for severely disabled students. Brett graduated from Berkeley in 1987 with a BS Degree and then continued his education receiving an MBA from UC Berkeley in 1990. Graduating from such a prestigious school as UC Berkeley was a difficult accomplishment. Brett often stayed up all night studying, completing reports and term papers using a pen in his mouth to write. Brett went on to work at IBM, the State of CA Department of Water Resources, and he later tutored children.

Brett loved to spend time with his family and friends. He loved getting together with family at every chance for barbecues, birthdays, vacations in Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe, and most holidays. Brett was a huge sports fan and loved supporting the A’s, Giants and 49’ers at their home games, and exploring trails in all parts of Northern CA with his sister and brother. Brett adored his four nephews and nieces. He shared in many fun moments and memories over the years watching his nephews and nieces play several sports, cheerleading, trick or treating, chopping down Christmas trees, racing them in his wheelchair, and proudly watching them grow into their adulthood, always being their special Uncle B. His many friends in Berkeley would often play poker until all hours of the night, and they also went camping and whitewater river rafting on the Green River, UT. Brett has been the hero and warrior for his family by the way he lived his life in the best way he could every single day, never complaining about his circumstances or how hard it was to be in his situation. Brett was an inspiration to all that knew him, and he will be missed beyond measure.

Brett is preceded in death by his father, Richard Estes and leaves behind his mother Carol Estes, sister Lori (Britt), brother Darren (Cindy), uncle to Cherise (Ryan), Heather (Chris), Ian (Kim) and Brandon. Brett also leaves behind six grand nephews and nieces. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation at which is a cause dear to Brett and our family’s heart. A Memorial Mass will be held Monday, May 13 at St. Mary’s of the Annunciation Catholic Church in Oakdale, CA at 10 a.m. Helping Hands reception to immediately follow at the parish center. He will be laid to rest following the reception at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, Escalon, CA at 1:30 p.m.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

The Riverbank (Calif.) News

May 8, 2024