Monday, April 22, 2024

Bryan Sean Happell, 61

| March 28, 2024 1:00 AM

Larger than life and twice as vibrant, the world lost a true force of nature when Bryan Sean Happell passed away after a short and unexpected illness in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on March 18, 2024. Born in Ransomville, N.Y., on Sept. 28, 1962, Bryan could light up a room with his big personality and playful spirit. 

He leaves behind his lucky charm and wife, Suzanne (Suzy) Happell; mother, Margaret (MacDonald) Howe; siblings: Cheryl (Chuck) Nagel, Mark (Tammy) Happell, Bruce (Diane) Happell and James Happell; alongside a much-loved crew of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, David Happell. 

Our beloved 1st Sergeant, an Army man through and through, spent 23 years playing global hide-and-seek during his tenure, including an extended "vacation" in Germany during the Cold War and high-stakes excursions to Iraq, Kuwait and Bosnia. Bryan’s integrity and dedication earned him multiple Bronze stars, commendations and awards for his fearless and unwavering service to our nation. 

Bryan approached his hobbies with the same zeal as his military career, whether he was snowmobiling, hunting, scuba diving, piloting experimental aircraft, or traveling the world with his beloved wife and partner in crime, Suzy. Adventure was his middle name, and he lived life looking forward to the next exciting challenge. 

On April 6, 2024, at 11 a.m., friends, family, and fellow adventurers are invited to Yates Funeral Home — Coeur d’Alene Chapel (744 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene) to swap tales, tell jokes and remember the man who never met a stranger. In place of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice House of North Idaho ( The family wants to thank his amazing doctors, nurses and our own personal army who surrounded Bryan with unconditional hope, support, and love.  

Bryan's story was one for the books, and even though the last chapter has ended, the laughter and legacy he leaves behind are the stuff of legend. Here's to a man who knew that life isn’t just about the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away — fly high, Bryan, and may your final landing be a soft one.

Please visit Bryan’s online memorial and sign his guestbook at