Arthur B. Badrian (1928 - 2010)

Obituary
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  • "since meeting Arthur, we seemed to have a special..."
    - joe allen
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Arthur Brendan Badrian, 81, of Bozeman, passed away May 9, 2010.

Arthur was born June 1, 1928, to Arthur Edgar Badrian and Mary (Smith) Badrian in Queens Village, New York City, N.Y. Like many born to children of immigrants, Arthur's early years were textured by his experience among people of many ethnic and religious backgrounds. Arthur credited his education in the New York Public School System and his military career for his acceptance of diversity. His belief in the ideal of equality and his tolerance for others' beliefs were evident throughout his life and shared in conversations with and letters to his children. Art embraced the "big picture" and willingly shared his philosophy of life leaving his children a legacy of appreciation for reasoning and learning.

Art, nicknamed "Babe," came of age during World War II. His sketchbooks from those years show sketches of airplanes and soldiers, inspired by his brother's service as a pilot.

After graduation from Jamaica High School in New York, Art enlisted in the United States Navy in 1947. Art's naval career took him and his family to several bases on the east and west coasts and to Hawaii, ending when he transferred to the Fleet Reserve in 1969. His last tour was as chief aviation electronic technician, a rating he achieved in 1963, at USNAS Barber's Point, Oahu, Hawaii. During his years in the Navy, Art served on ships in the Atlantic and the Pacific, with stops in exotic ports in the Mediterranean and the Philippines. He also served as a navigator on airplanes, liking flight time and flight pay. Even though Art spoke little about his work, glimpses of his military duty sparked the imaginations of his children.

In 1951 Arthur married Betty Jean Richardson of Salisbury, Md. The couple's courtship blossomed as they dated during Navy league basketball in Maryland. The family grew with Betty as chief cook and bottle washer while Art was in various schools and aboard ship. Darla Lynne, Theresa Gale, Bridget Kay and Steven Howard were born in Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee. As the family moved from base to base, Betty and Art provided a secure and loving home for their children. However in 1969 he and Betty divorced.

Upon Art's retirement, the family moved from Hawaii to Everett, Wash., where Art became an equipment installer with General Telephone, working throughout the Puget Sound region. He also resumed his hobbies of salmon fishing, boat building, carpentry, camping and backpacking.

Art married Alice Dee, a schoolteacher, in 1976. In the early '80s, even as Alice and Art returned to their status as good friends, Art continued to challenge himself. He took college classes in photography, geology and logic. He built and outfitted boats sturdy enough to cruise Puget Sound and the inland passage between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada. He bought land on Lopez Island in the San Juans and built a cabin with his own hand-hewn logs.

He continued a lifelong love of color and drawing, creating watercolor paintings and ink drawings. Art's paintings, drawings, photographs, essays and short stories continue to inspire us with their composition and focus. After a journey to southwest Montana in the late '70s, Art decided to spend summers at Hebgen Lake. Affectionately called "Boat Man" by some, he used his engineering and carpentry skills to build docks and oversee his son-in-law in the construction of a giant boathouse.

Deciding to explore the Ruby Valley, he lived in Sheridan. His last home purchase was in Harlowton, where his yard was habitat for the town deer, rabbits and Hungarian partridge. Art was a lover of music and had a vast collection of zydeco music.

He was a constant reader and left a selection of books for his grandchildren, covering history, anthropology, science and the natural world and philosophy. Art felt strongly about public libraries and supported them enthusiastically.

Beyond these many interests Art had a lifelong interest in politics and economics and traded in the stock market. His interest in finance could have been nurtured by his accountant father who took the train from Queens Village into the city when Art was young. Art was a prudent investor who didn't like favorites or long shots even though he spent several winters in Las Vegas with his brother-in-law, Irv Lee, and several seasons "wildcatting" oil wells in Kansas with his brother, Bud. His New York roots extended to horse racing and some of his favorite times were at the track with his friend, Joe. Among his friends he counted Dr John MacCart and staff at Bair Memorial Clinic in "Harlo," Dr Borgenicht and the staff at Springmeadows and Highgate in Bozeman.

Art was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, John "Bud" Badrian; and his sister, Margaret "Peg" Lee.

He is survived by his first wife, Betty Jean (Larry) Dorr of Bozeman; Alice Dee of Salem, Ore.; nieces and nephews; and his children: Darla (David) Hoff and Theresa Pattison of Bozeman, Bridget (Fred) Gambrell of Alameda, Calif., and Steven (Rhonda) Badrian of Spanaway, Wash. His grandchildren are Brendan, Laila, Lars, Nathan and Rose; and his great-grandchildren are Caden and Chloe.

In lieu of flowers, please give a gift in his memory to a public library or public radio station. A celebration of Arthur's life will be held later this summer.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.

Funeral Home
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 586-5298
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from May 12 to May 16, 2010
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