Brian D. Fairfax, MD Obituary

Brian Fairfax, of Phoenix, AZ passed away peacefully on Tuesday August 9, 2022 in Rockford, IL at the age of 75 with his wife and two sons by his side. Brian was born in Rock Falls, Illinois on January 9, 1947, the son of the amazing Bob and Joyce Fairfax. At the age of 3, he contracted paralytic poliomyelitis and spent months in hospital. It was then that he decided to dedicate the rest of his life to helping people, just as doctors had helped him. Her childhood was filled with surgeries, but that never dampened her spirits. Due to his limited mobility over the next few years, he became engrossed in reading and learning about the world – a trend that continued for the rest of his life. When Brian was 11, his family moved to a beautiful house on the Rock River in Sterling, IL. He was in heaven because he loved being on the water to sail, fish and think. Bob and Joyce owned Fairfax Hardware in Sterling, so he also had a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of, well, everything! Their house had always been a hub for parties, which he mostly enjoyed, until he decided to sneak out to read or listen to his records in peace. Seventeen-year-old Brian was minding his own business at a jukebox at a local restaurant when Lyn Manfield walked up and told him exactly what song he was to play on the quarter he had just finished. ‘insert. Later, she told one of her friends that he had to call her and ask her out. He called her the next day and said, “I heard I had to ask you out. It was the beginning of 57 years of love and devotion. They were officially married in Chicago at the Knickerbocker Hotel in 1969. Brian and Lyn both attended the University of Iowa where he received his bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry. He was then accepted into their medical school and quickly focused on dermatology. He trained as a dermatological surgeon and was one of the first physicians to perform Mohs surgery for the highly technical and precise removal of skin cancers. In 1976, Brian and Lyn welcomed their first son, Jason, and the family soon moved west to Phoenix, Arizona so Brian could open his own practice in Paradise Valley. Their second son, Logan, was welcomed soon after in 1979. The next 20 years saw Brian’s practice flourish. He treated between 50 and 60 patients a day and had such a great reputation that people came to see him from all over the world. Thanks to his voracious reading habit, he could relate to both teenagers and octogenarians alike. From Pearl Jam to Perry Como, from Paris to Perth, and from pyoderma to pityriasis, he was well versed. It helped that he was always patient, generous and kind. At home, he enjoyed spending time with Lyn and her sons. The house was always filled with laughter, learning and games. Everyone was mesmerized by Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, and Lyn just shook her head when the three boys laughed their heads off watching Monty Python. Family vacations were spent among the pines of Flagstaff, on the beaches of San Diego and where it all began, by the Rock River in Sterling. Although he wanted nothing more than to continue practicing medicine, Brain was forced into early retirement due to the development of post-polio syndrome. Over the next decade, he and Lyn drove across the United States, visiting friends and seeing places they hadn’t yet explored. In 2009 tragedy struck when Brian suffered a severe stroke which left him with hemiparalysis and aphasia. Despite this very difficult experience of being in a wheelchair and unable to communicate with his old eloquence, with Lyn by his side, he persevered with physical therapy and a smile on his face. He enjoyed spending time with his family, playing with his grandchildren and making their annual pilgrimage to the Rock River. Brian’s wishes were to be cremated. As the late Carl Sagan once said, “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made inside the stars that s are collapsing. We are made of stars.” And we who love and miss him don’t need the new James Webb Space Telescope to find him because Brian is the brightest star in the sky, and he’s a part of us all. He is survived by his wife Lyn Fairfax (Manfield) of Phoenix, AZ; his children Jason Fairfax of San Diego, CA and Logan Fairfax and his wife Shelley Fairfax (Huskey) of Maryville, TN; and his 3 grandchildren, Caden, Alex and Izzy. A celebration of life ceremony will be held at a later date. A memorial has been erected. Memorials can be mailed to Schilling Funeral Home, PO Box 592, Sterling, IL 61081 and will be passed on to the family. Condolences can be sent to

Posted August 17, 2022

Posted in The Arizona Republic