In Memory of




Obituary for Brian Thomas Syrjala

Brian “Surge” Thomas Syrjala, age 51, passed away unexpectedly on December 21, 2023. One of four children, Brian was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on August 28, 1972, to Richard and Alice Syrjala.

After graduating from Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA, Brian majored in Economics at the University of Massachusetts before embarking on a career in IT, all the while thriving as a musician in various rock bands, including Sway, and most recently, the Blizzard of ‘78. In 2009, Brian joined the family business, Quantek Instruments, to lead the sales department. He spearheaded the company's global growth in the scientific instrumentation industry. One of Brian’s proudest sales accomplishments was landing a couple of Quantek 201s on the International Space Station in a far out deal with NASA.

Brian married the love of his life, Michelle in 2008, and together they enjoyed raising their daughters in Newton and Natick. Brian instigated many spontaneous adventures with his family, especially on trips to Ireland and Maine; these included boating, riding bikes, and flying drones into kites (of course he did!). Most of all, Brian loved to entertain, whether by playing the piano, guitar, violin, or accordion, or organizing crazy poker and blackjack games with his pals, or simply by making everyone laugh and feel connected.

Brian’s family and friends will deeply miss his vivacious, spontaneous, and exuberant personality. His creative and generous spirit enriched our lives, and his “always on” stage presence never failed to command the room. His intellect, empathy, humor, graciousness, and dedication to family, work, and to the spirit of life will live on in all who knew him.

Brian is survived by his loving wife, Michelle, and his two beautiful daughters, Madeline Rose (15) and Allison Marie (11). In addition to his parents, he also leaves siblings William Syrjala, Joanne “Jodi” (Syrjala) Congdon (m. Chalmers Congdon), Michael Syrjala, nephew Samuel William Congdon (14) and niece Katherine Alice Congdon (12), his dog Bailey, and cats Papi and Finneas, as well as many, many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, December 29th at 10:30AM in Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, 573 Washington St. Newton followed by interment in Calvary Cemetery, Waltham. Visiting hours will be Thursday from 4-7PM in the Burke & Blackington Funeral Home, 1479 Washington St. West Newton. In lieu of flowers donations in Brian's memory may be made to