Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home

201 25th Ave North, Nashville, TN


Brian Ede Nash

February 7, 1957May 18, 2020

Brian Ede Nash (Nashawaty) – A Brilliant Artist Departs

It is with great sadness that Brian’s family announces his death of cancer on May 18 in his adopted hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.

Brian was the son of Carolyn Ede Nashawaty and the late Arthur E. Nashawaty, and brother to Brenda and Arthur Jr. (Bud), all of Boston and Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. Brian also is survived by his Godmother and uncle, Ernestine and Elias Ede; his aunt Mrs. William (Elaine) Cardillo; his aunt and uncle Evelyn (Leona) and Mark Maguire; his aunt Laurice Balara; Godchildren Andrea George Finch and Madeline Shell; and many other family members and friends.

Brian was born and raised in Boston. He attended Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood. Brian earned his BS in Business Administration at Northeastern University, and his MBA at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

There was no one like Brian. To know him was to adore him. He was whip smart, funny, creative, honest, forgiving, visionary and kind. He was cosmopolitan without being stuffy. He always smelled great. He played the curmudgeon – badly. Brian privately supported charities for the homeless and abused wherever he lived. He also prepared and kept care packages in his car for homeless people he would see while driving. He risked his safety repeatedly to rescue cats and dogs from highways and alleyways. Since his death his family has learned of many kindnesses Brian performed quietly for family, friends, acquaintances and strangers.

Brian’s adventures ranged from bungee jumping in New Zealand, to selling cashmere sweaters at Harrods of London for a college semester, to river rafting, to traveling with family and friends throughout Europe and Asia.

Brian had five successful careers. His first professional job was in Chicago at the Leo Burnett advertising agency, during which he hosted a legendary dinner party where the food was only the cereals the agency represented. Brian moved to New York to work in retail marketing and advertising for Ralph Lauren. He decided he wanted to write music, so he moved to Nashville and became a successful songwriter who earned gold records for songs recorded by prominent artists.

One day Brian picked up a paint brush and found his passion to create what he called “art for the child at heart.” His paintings, prints and textiles are in private collections, galleries, hotels, restaurants, and corporate settings in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. His work will continue to be sold through the soon to be established Brian Nash Foundation, which will donate a portion of the proceeds of every sale of his artwork to the causes he held so dear. Until then you can view his art at www.briannash.net.

As an adjunct to his art career, Brian also started a company to design and produce American-made clothing and accessories for people and their pets, using images from his art including the infamous LaLa the rabbit who claimed to only wear Chanel; and Skittles, the self-named goddess of all felines.

And, because he could never quite sit still, Brian built intricate woodworks and furniture for himself, family and friends.

Brian’s family is grateful for the support, love and care given to him by his many friends, especially Robin Cohn, Arlene Gold and Lauren Karp.

From Robin Cohn: To all who loved him, may you know that up until his very last days Brian Nash did what he loved most: paint. Until he could no longer hold the brushes, he painted. He put his heart into every canvas; creating images full of light, color, joy, love. Everything he painted, whether it be among the hundreds of stories that came from his brilliant mind and enormous heart; museum studies of famous artists (with subtle imagery hidden in the homage), advertising spoofs, pop art icons, everyday household items, or stories he create through his brush; all of his art held that certain Nash bent. Animals, food, TV and film, were all subjects to which Brian lent his talent and humor. Commissions of people’s beloved pets, caught in a nuanced way that only the owner could recognize, were his utmost joy to create. Brian’s paintings danced off the canvas, begging us to join in the fun. And so we did. How could we not? Even thwe titles captured us and made us laugh. Brian was wicked funny. He loved the theater, books, music and his hometown of Boston. Brian was a voracious reader, and could speak intelligently on even the most obscure of subjects. Brian loved his pets. Many knew his dog Rufus and his cat Skittles, who often appeared in his paintings, but he also rescued many a kitty from the streets to give them a forever home. He walked a long, painful road for the past two years with grace and humor. Death did not scare him. And as long as he was here, he was going to create as much art as he could. It is his beautiful legacy which yes, we can see with our eyes, but more importantly, we can feel, deeply, with our hearts.

Services for Brian were private. The family respectfully requests no flowers or plants. If you’d like to honor Brian’s memory his family suggests making a donation to the Crossroads Pet Shop and Adopt at http://crossroadscampus.org or to your favorite charity.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Brian Ede Nash

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ivy Story

May 28, 2020

I discovered Brian about two years ago on Artfinder. I fell in love with his art and knew I had to start saving for a piece of his. My husband and I had recently seen Hamilton and every time my husband spoke of the play and our memories of going to see it, his face lit up. Once I found Brian's Hamilton painting, I knew it would be perfect. Brian was so kind and his art is my very favorite thing in our home, every day when I see it, I smile. I am so sorry for your loss.

LeAnn Phelan

May 23, 2020

Dear friends of Brian Nash...I am crushed today to learn of his passing. Brian and I used to have regular meetings about his songs when I worked at ASCAP. I fell in love with his personality and kind heart. He was so appreciative of our meetings and work together that he asked me for a photo of my dogs and the next thing I knew he brought in a painting of them that TOTALLY captured their personalities and in the exact colors that worked in my home. When I tell you it was my prize possession ... I mean it really was. That painting then and now brings me joy every time I see it. I commissioned Brian to paint my two rescue pups and he did not disappoint. He also encouraged me, as a new abstract artist, to put my work up for sale. I would of never had the courage without Brian. I’m not a facebooker and I had no idea he was sick. I wish that I had known. I’m pouring my heart out because I want everyone to know what a lovely person he was to me. He was a very talented songwriter and obviously I was a huge fan of his whimsical art work. God bless you Brian. Your joy will live on but we sure will miss you my friend. Love, LeAnn Phelan 5/23/20

Nicole Wood

May 23, 2020

I discovered Brian’s art in an online gallery in 2016. I excitedly reached out to him and promptly became one of his many admirers! It was obvious that Brian was passionate about art as he always took the time to share the stories behind his creations. Brian’s kindness, thoughtfulness, wit and generosity will be missed. I feel privileged to have known him and grateful that his spirit will live on in these beautiful creations that I am so honored to have. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Miami, FL

Peg Schneeman and Brian reagan

May 22, 2020

We were totally surprised and shocked to learn that Brian was sick and had passed away. I met Brian at a Tuck reunion 27 years ago. He and my husband were classmates at Tuck and played together in the infamous Tuck band "Men with Advanced Degrees." About 10 years ago, Brian became my art mentor. He helped me launch my son, Jimmy's, art career. Jimmy is 26 and lives with complex autism. Brian offered critiques, advice, encouragement, ideas and emotional support for me and Jimmy. Brian was a huge fan of Jimmy's work and helped us in ways that only Brian could. I connected with him in the beginning of May after I posted a new pastel of Jimmy's on instagram. When Brian loved one of Jimmy's pieces, he always reached out. I had no idea he was sick. In our exchange, he mentioned one of his favorites of Jimmy's again. I thought I should send it to him. He'd asked about it over the years as he loved the piece.....I regret not sending it to him a few years ago. I've attached the image of "Pierre" that Brian loved. I will miss being able to reach out to this lovely man who became my friend, mentor and fellow traveller in this world. We are fortunate to own one of his paintings....it's a large one that I walk past many times a day. I am grateful for our friendship, Brian's guidance, compassion and honesty. We will miss you.

Bonnie Koehler

May 21, 2020

Brian was a lovely soul, and we had many interesting conversations over the years I knew him. His art was whimsical, and nostalgic. I wish I’d had the opportunity to spend more time with him. He will be missed and remembered fondly. I treasure the art he gave me, and I always will think of his wisdom when I see his work.

Eleanor Sabaduquia

May 20, 2020

Brian, you were a special man, who brought grace, art, humility, class and the ability to bring out the best from disparate groups of people. He always was a positive presence, despite being in pain, and endured with his gentleness and generosity. We on Datalounge will miss him greatly and give our condolences to his family and friends.


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