Tag Archives: Obituary

Erling Dideriksen, designer of the LEGO Headlight brick has passed on [News]

We are sad to hear that Erling Thue Dideriksen, LEGO designer that has contributed a number of iconic elements, including the headlight brick that was named after him – passed on quietly on 1st March 2023 in Billund, Denmark. Erling was born on 14 November 1944 and was 78 years of age.

The popular element that Erling designed and the one that LEGO fans may be able to relate  to is the Headlight brick, also known as the Washing Machine brick. Within the LEGO custom creation community it’s also known as the Erling brick, one of few LEGO elements that has its own special reference name associated to it by LEGO fans, acknowledging the designer.

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Mourning the passing of David Frank [News]

There’s never an easy way to share the news of the loss of a friend. On June 2, David Frank passed away after an unexpected medical emergency, leaving us shocked and heartbroken. David was not only a marvelously talented LEGO builder whose work we’ve featured many times, but also a personal friend to several of us here at TBB here in the Seattle area. David leaves behind his wife and three children.

No words can ever do justice to someone’s life, but if there’s one word that anyone who met David would use to describe him, it’s “kind.” Although he had the physique of a bodybuilder, David was softspoken and had one of those personalities that sticks in your mind as modest, utterly sincere, and simply filled with the child-like joy of sharing a hobby. I first met David about 10 years ago in the BrickCon exhibition hall when he walked in to start setting up one of his castle creations. We struck up a conversation as he started to unpack his boxes, and he told me he was still new to building his own creations rather than sets, and not to expect much of his builds. He then proceeded to set up what was not only the biggest LEGO castle I’d ever seen in person, but also incredibly detailed, a sprawling layout filled with dragons and knights. David’s building skills only grew from there, and he frequently built massive dioramas of locations from his wife Claire’s novels along with other things he was passionate about, like Starcraft. Many LUG meetings and hangouts later we even discussed auditioning for LEGO Masters as a team. But as incredible as David’s LEGO skills were, it was never his priority. David’s family always came first, and he loved sharing the company of friends even more than he loved building. David, you will be sorely missed.

See more of David’s creations that we’ve featured on TBB, or check out his flickr.

Saying goodbye to LEGO legend, Arthur Gugick (1960-2019)

The LEGO fan community is mourning the loss of kindhearted and prolific builder, Arthur Gugick of Ohio. On March 30th Arthur and his significant other, Barbara Becker, were tragically killed in a car accident. If you ever attended North American fan events like BrickWorld Chicago or BrickFair VA, you may have run into Arthur before. At these events, you could catch a glimpse of his elaborate architectural builds and mosaics. Arthur was featured in the Winter 2008 issue of BrickJournal magazine, and he was even contracted to recreate his model of the Taj Mahal for the Australian independent film, Taj (2011).

Photo Shoot 4

In addition to being an avid LEGO enthusiast, Arthur taught math at Beachwood High School. He was passionate about his job and had a knack for harnessing his creativity to make math fun for his students. In an interview with ABC News 5 Cleveland, Ed Bernetich (who had been responsible for hiring Arthur) commented:

I was very sad because he is one of a kind. He’s a total unique individual. There are many great math minds, but sometimes they don’t relate to other people very well. And here we had a guy with a mathematician’s brain who also was extremely skilled at reaching kids.

Arthur’s death has been a difficult time for Beachwood School District staff and students, whose lives he has touched over the years.

Mont St. Michel 1

Ever the mathematician, Arthur approached his LEGO models from a mathematical angle. Some of his structures utilized calculus, and he even wrote his own software for building domes like the one on his Taj Mahal. According to Arthur, “I look at my buildings as more an exercise in mathematics than necessarily an art form, which might be a little different of a take than other people do, or maybe it’s the same… For me it’s a puzzle” (BrickJournal – Winter 2008).

Continue reading about Arthur’s legacy

Talented Italian LEGO builder Luca Di Lazzaro dies far too young [News]

The Brothers Brick is a website dedicated to sharing amazing LEGO builds, news, and reviews. We generally write about things that make us happy. But it is with deep sadness that we must share the passing of an incredibly talented builder, Luca Di Lazzaro. The Italian native was a Deputy Commander for the Carabinieri station in Remanzacco, and an avid bicyclist. Unfortunately, it was a bicycling accident that ended his life at the young age of only 45.


We know Luca (pictured center) because of his presence in the Adult Fan of LEGO community. We have written many articles about his charming and wonderful creations, but we’d like to honor his memory by re-sharing a few of our favorites. You can click the links below to read those articles.

Cycling the Paris-Roubaix

Paris - Roubaix (sur le pave', la legende)

Mamma mia! Che bella città!

Finally here my little angle of Paradise..
Cast a coin into The Well of Desires

Here part two of my little angle of Paradise.. "The well of desires". I hope you like it

Udine, Italy’s Piazza San Giacomo in LEGO

Lego San Giacomo Square

If you don’t speak Italian, you can still read outside articles about Luca by pasting web addresses into Google Translate. If you’d just like to see more fantastic pictures of his work, check out his Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends. In the LEGO community he will be sorely missed.

Sad news: Heather Braaten found

It’s with a heavy heart that I share emerging news that fellow LEGO fan Heather Braaten’s body was discovered yesterday afternoon.

Thank you to everyone who helped get the word out last week that she was missing. For our global readers, we’re going to conclude coverage of this tragedy here on The Brothers Brick at this point. If you’re interested in learning about local arrangements for services, please join the SEALUG mailing list or keep an eye on news here in Seattle.

Our thoughts are with Heather’s family and friends. If you’d like to share something, please feel free to do so in the comments. As we’ve done with other members of our community who’ve died, we’ll pass along your thoughts to Heather’s family.

If you have photos of Heather or her LEGO creations, please feel free to add them to a new group on Flickr.

Farewell to a Legend: Mourning the passing of Nate “nnenn” Nielson

Over the last couple of months, Keith has brought us joy every Sunday with his interviews. Today, the burden of responsibility falls on Keith’s shoulders to bring us tragic news…

nnennIt is my unpleasant duty to report the passing of our friend and fellow builder Nate “nnenn” Nielson. Nate’s death was the result of an automobile accident earlier this month. A resident of Tekoa, Washington, Nate was a father, an artist, and a professor specializing in graphic design. Nate is survived by his beloved wife and two sons ages 3 and 8.
It is important to Nate’s family that he is remembered by our community, one that he took great joy in participating in. Above all they want Nate to be remembered as a devoted husband and father, and for us to know that his interest in the brick was inseparable from his love for his boys. Nate was notorious for his brevity, and when I was searching through his models, interviews, and comments for inspiration, this quote jumped off the screen:

“Ha! Spring break a week ago. Rainy day today. No friends. Two boys.”

Nate’s other great passion was teaching the principles of design and graphic art, something that should seem obvious to our community. It was Nate’s goal to encourage others and to push people to their creative potential. In our small corner of the universe, I think it is safe to say: mission accomplished, Nate.

LEGO Neo-Classic Space nnenn starfighterI didn’t know Nate very well, certainly not as well as I would have liked. We did however share a love of the brick, 70’s sci-fi and being a father. I always imagined I’d run into nnenn at a convention…that he’d slip out of the crowd on public-day looking like a dead ringer for Christopher Walken. In this fantasy he would walk up to my model on display and say something like:

“Guess what Goldman?! I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription… is more cowbell”.

I’ve always been a fan of Nate’s models, even when I initially disliked him in a superficial way for his heretical tendencies with my sacred bricks. In time I grew to respect him for his uncompromising stance and commitment to form over purist devotion. It was my distinct pleasure to interview nnenn last month, and in the process we exchanged some fun emails; I only wish I’d asked better questions.

You know a builder is big-time when he not only gets an entire scale named after him, but an element as well. Nnenn’s consistent level of quality and production since his debut in late 2006 is nothing short of extraordinary. I can say without exaggeration that Nate influenced a generation of builders, and even an old man or two like me. Nate had 1347 contacts on Flickr, 1347 students for a guy who loved to teach. I think time will prove that he taught us well.

For those of you missed it, James Wadsworth of LAML Radio conducted an audio interview with Nate last summer. Tom over at Masoko Tanga also has a wonderful interview with Nate on his site.

Missing Man Vic Viper Formation – BrickWorld & BrickCon

LEGO Vic Viper by nnennI’m organizing a fly-in style community build for the Brickworld 2010 fan convention in Chicago, and potentially at BrickCon 2010 in Seattle. Anyone who is interested in celebrating the life and models of nnenn is invited to bring or mail a small space-fighter in his iconic Vic Viper style to the convention. The vipers will be arranged in the traditional “missing man formation” common to air forces around the world.

Nate drew inspiration from his father who served the US as an F-16 fighter pilot, making the fly-in seem even more appropriate. So if you’d like to participate in the formation, contact me at Legomankeith AT aol DOT com for further details.


It only seems fitting to close this tribute to a legend with a word or two from some familiar voices in the community. The Brothers Brick and I invite all of you to add your thoughts to this memorial guestbook. There is no rhyme or reason to these first 20 fans; they are simply friends that I reached out to, to help make sense of Nate’s untimely passing. The one exception is Peter L. Morris, who contacted me after speaking directly with Nate’s widow and graciously invited me to participate in this tribute. Pete was closer to Nate than most of us, and his insights into Nate as a friend have been invaluable as we prepared this tribute.

Rest in peace nnenn, you’ll be missed.

Read the guestbook and leave your own comments after the jump: Continue reading

When Words Fail

Eric Brok It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of Eric Brok, the LEGO fan who designed 10190 Market Street. He succumbed in his sleep after a battle with cancer. For more than ten years, Eric has served as an inspiration to the worldwide LEGO community. Our thoughts go out to his wife, family, friends, and everyone who had the opportunity to meet him.

We’ll leave this post up for a few days — now doesn’t seem to be the time for mecha, ninjas, and interstellar starfighters. If we learn of anything the community can do for his family, we’ll let you know.