As the vice president of design management for Coakley & Williams Construction, Inc., Jeffrey Landis was responsible for many major building ventures in the area. Among other projects, he oversaw the refurbishment of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building; a new courthouse in Hyattsville; a U.S. Postal Service facility in Linthicum; the EuroMotorcars dealership building in Germantown; and a library and conference center in the Pentagon, which received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design award for being environmentally sensitive.
We were fortunate enough to cross paths with Jeff one summer afternoon as we ate lunch at a job site on Morrison Street, NW. Jeff stopped to chat, and invited us to his house to take a look at several remodeling projects. Over the next few months we fast became friends, and visited Jeff and his wife Julia often. We learned that Jeff was a talented artist and architect, and he offered to serve as a mentor to Four Brothers. Throughout our first major projects, Jeff freely provided guidance and expertise gained through years of experience. He introduced us to a number of business colleagues, and through his work habits, emphasized the importance of achieving perfection.
At the time Jeff was diagnosed with cancer, we were in the beginning stages of remodeling his downstairs bathroom. Jeff had drawn the plans for the project, and was responsible for the design, materials selection, and accessories. Though he was often weakened from treatment and pain, Jeff insisted on remaining active in the process, and inspected the job site daily. When he was unable to manage the trip downstairs, he asked for digital pictures and daily progress reports.
When Jeff passed away in July of 2007 at the age of 55, the world lost an artist, teacher, and friend. Although we knew Jeff for only a short period of time, Four Brothers will forever be indebted to him for his kindness. He demonstrated the importance of extending a hand to a fellow traveler, and through our daily interactions, we would hope to make Jeff proud.