Friends and family of Brad Hann are still trying to cope with the sudden death of the 51-year-old Davenport man, who helped and was close to so many in the Quad Cities.

Hann passed away unexpectedly at his home on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral, 422 E. 10th St., Davenport. Visitation will be Thursday, Sept. 15, from 4 – 8 p.m., at Weerts Funeral Home, 3625 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport. There will also be a second visitation before the Mass at 9 a.m.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help with Hann’s funeral expenses, and $9,680 was raised as of Thursday.

Hann was an Air Force veteran who leaves behind his wife, two sons and a grandson.

“He truly touched everyone who met him in a way that made them feel special and cared for,” his friend Roland Borst wrote on the site. “He never met a stranger; once he met you he was your brother and made you feel that way.”

Brett Hitchcock, Circa ’21 director of audience development, said the same thing Thursday, noting Hann was an employee of Circa 21’s Speakeasy (1818 3rd Ave., Rock Island) since 2011, and house manager for several years. His full-time job was working IT for Crawford Company.

“He was the smiling face that people would see when you would come in, and he didn’t know a stranger,” Hitchcock said. The Speakeasy has been closed since May for a total renovation, due to re-open on Oct. 1.

“He would give the shirt off of his back, if they were in need, you know, he was always the first one there,” Hitchcock said of Hann.

“It wasn’t just the staff and the Speakeasy – it was everybody across the gamut with the comedy community, with the burlesque community,” he said. “He was a sweetheart of a man. And I wish that – with all the good and the hope that he’d brought for others, I wish that he would have known that, if he was struggling like that and so we could have helped him.”

Bottoms Up Quad City Burlesque posted this tribute to Hann, noting a Sept. 10 benefit at RIBCO, by Nightcaps Improv Comedy.

“There’s been an overwhelming outpouring of love for him and rightfully so, over this last week and I just wish he would have known that,” Hitchcock said. Hann resigned as manager last March, to spend more time with his family, including his grandson Luka. “He just adored him,” Hitchcock said.

“But he stayed on as basically our IT person. That’s what he did at Crawford Company and was doing it on an as-needed basis,” he said of Circa. “So even though he was not in the Speakeasy, he was still here on a fairly regular basis.”

He was really looking forward to the new Speakeasy reopening, Hitchcock said.

“He was constantly reminding me that he was expecting an invite to our official open house, or the ribbon-cutting, ‘cause he wanted to be front-and-center for that,” he said. “We were joking back and forth with it but we absolutely would have included him.”  

An Air Force veteran

A Davenport native, Hann joined the United States Air Force after high school. While stationed in Okinawa, Brad met and fell in love with Rina Dilag, they were married on July 26, 1995. Brad loved his two sons and could often be found playing pool, doing stand-up comedy, or being a scare actor at Rock Island’s Skellington Manor with them, according to his obituary.

He loved to take Rina out on dinner and movie dates. Brad was an avid Chicago White Sox fan and Dallas Cowboy fan. Family was very important to him and would spend as much time as he could with them. He is survived by his wife Rina; sons Christian (Rebecca) and Joshua; grandson Luka; sisters Candy, Leslie, and Diane; his mother Holly Hann, and stepmother Carol Hann.

Hitchcock said that supporting veterans was a key part of his life.

Hann was very involved with the Mission 22 group for veterans, and even had a Mission 22 tattoo on his arm, he said.

Learn more about Mission 22 at mission22.com.

“It was a passion of his and especially that particular organization,” Hitchcock said. “He would donate money, and yes, veterans’ causes were very, very important to him.”

Mission 22 (named for the estimated 22 U.S. veterans a day who take their own lives) is a national suicide prevention organization that provides extensive, personalized support and resources to help veterans and their families thrive.

Mission 22’s programs for veterans and military spouses offer everything from biometric monitoring of stress, sleep, and activity levels; to meditation and coaching; to exercise programs and a wellness supplement regimen; to books and learning resources to help vets put their experience in context, according to the group website.

“It was the kind and caring nature that he had and he just loved everybody, man,” Hann’s close friend Stephen Moller said Thursday. “The dude never never judged anybody. And I think because he was in the military, he was a lot closer to that. The 22, he had a tattoo on his arm as a reminder.”

This past July, Hann organized a benefit for local disabled veterans at Yoshi’s in Davenport.

“I think that was just in his nature. Veterans are especially close to him because he had served too,” Moeller said.

Love of stand-up comedy

In the past year, Hann started to do stand-up comedy in the area, and his older son Christian actually performed at The Skylark comedy show the night of his father’s death, Sept. 8.

“I think finally, he just took the attitude of, he’d watched enough comedy shows at the Speakeasy over the years where he saw people bomb and he saw people do extremely well,” Hitchcock said of Brad. 

“That’s what gave him the encouragement to go up there and do it. He was starting to go to a lot of the open mics around here,” he said. 

Hann, left, with Stephen Moller at a Quad City Storm game.

Moller, one of Hann’s best friends and a Crawford co-worker, couldn’t believe the strength it took for Christian to do stand-up that night, in honor of his dad. 

“His son Christian is like, hey, how do I get involved? I want to be more involved in the things that my dad was involved in,” said friend Evee Grey, manager of Bottoms Up Quad City Burlesque “It’s his legacy and part of you wants to cry and part of you is happy because someone else now is interested and helping to fill that gap.”

“That’s what I’ve got to tell the whole community. I’m like, man, you know, we’ve honestly lost one of the best things that ever happened,” Moller said. “We lost our brother, but we also lost the biggest supporter that the Quad-City comedy scene has ever seen.

“Nobody believes in any of us more than Brad believed in us. And, you know, now that now that he is gone. I’m like, we lost him but the only thing we could ever do for him is that all of us to be our absolute best  — to go above and beyond, push ourselves harder than we have ever pushed ourselves to be who Brad believed that we could actually be,” he said.

On Saturday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m., Yoshi’s Bar and Filipino Canteen (831 W. 3rd St., Davenport) will put on a comedy show, “Brad’s Stupid Friends,” in loving memory of Hann and all proceeds will go to the Hann family for funeral expenses.

Grey, manager of Bottoms Up. said their first show back at The Speakeasy on Oct. 15 will be in honor of Hann.

“Honestly, Brad never met a stranger. The minute you knew Brad, he was your best friend,” she agreed Thursday, calling him “the most caring and giving man.”

“My husband is probably one of Brad’s best friends over the past three years, they just got really close and my husband talked to him the morning of this terrible situation,” Grey said. “They worked out every day at the gym together. He told my husband you know, I’ll see you tomorrow at the gym. I can’t wait for this weekend for tacos and margs. So this has very much taken aback.”

“He was a major part of our family like on a personal level and faith level and it definitely leaves a big hole in all of our hearts,” Grey said. “The community has come together in support, but we’re all just completely shaken by this.” 

Hann enjoyed being a scary clown for haunted houses at Rock Island’s Skellington Manor.

Circa also hopes to do a tribute to him. “We’re hoping to put together some sort of evening of remembrance and having friends get up on stage and perform or just tell stories and things like that,” Hitchcock said. “We’re hoping to do something like that in the next in the next couple of months.”

To contribute to the GoFundMe memorial, click HERE.