Howard Brilliant

Obituary of Howard Brilliant



Howard Michael Brilliant, PhD, Col (USAF ret.) passed away on Saturday, September 23, 2017.


Mike was born in Baltimore MD and attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.  He went to the University of Pittsburgh on a ROTC scholarship.  He received his PhD from the University of Michigan.  He met his wife, Arleen while an instructor at the US Air Force Academy. 

Mike loved the outdoors and sponsored the hiking and cross country ski clubs at the Academy. 


Mike loved to teach.  In his spare time, he taught engineering at both Wright State University and later at Union Graduate College. Mike was stationed at Hanscom AF Base near Boston as an AF representative to NATO. When he was promoted to Colonel the family went back to Wright Patterson AF Base in Dayton, for his third tour there.  He taught his children their work ethic by example.  Every night he was home at 6 for dinner, but at 8 the briefcase came out onto the kitchen table and he worked until 10 or 11. Mike served 24 years in the USAF.


After the Air Force Mike went to work for GE in Cincinnati.  When a job opened in Schenectady they decided to come east and Mike worked at both the research center and power systems downtown. 


Mike was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January and had surgery at Johns Hopkins hospital.  He walked out of the hospital two days after surgery and felt well.  He underwent radiation and chemotherapy at NYOH and was doing well until Friday when he developed a brain hemorrhage. 

Mike and Arleen were married almost 39 years.  They have two wonderful children, Rachelle Brilliant and Amy Miller and a wonderful son in law, Dean Miller and grandson Benjamin Miller.  He is also survived by his brother Mark (Rozzie) and sister Betsy.  No one ever heard him curse.  No one ever heard him say a bad word about anyone.  He never gossiped.  He never lied.   Mike we will miss you. 


Donations can be made to Congregation Agudat Achim, 2117 Union Street, Niskayuna, and to National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, P. O. Box 41094, Arlington VA 22204.

Shiva minyan will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m.