Just got off the phone with Dusty Bengford, and he confirmed to me that the rumors of Mr. Brass' death have been greatly exaggerated. There was a death in his family, and someone read to much into it and here we are.
Mrs Brass confirmed this to me this morning:
"Hi Nick. Andy's Uncle John passed away. Paul is his Uncle's Johns son-Andy's cousin (John is Andy's Dad's brother). He lived to be almost 90 years old. Andy is just fine. He is still working, and running 90 miles an hour. He will be 55 years old this year. Thank you for your concern though and clearing things up."