Dorothy M. (Branch) Brekke (1916 - 2009)

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Dorothy M. (Branch) Brekke passed away April 22, 2009, at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital following a short illness. Dorothy was born May 7, 1916, in Mitchell, S.D., to Elrie and Sarah Branch. She graduated from Plankinton High School, Plankinton, S.D. in 1933. She married Lawry J. Brekke on June 3, 1947, in Rapid City, S.D. They lived in Livingston for five years prior to moving to Bozeman, where Lawry worked at Montana Motor Supply and eventually became owner.

She earned a business degree at Huron College and found a job teaching business courses (shorthand, typing and bookkeeping) in Interior, S.D. From there she went to Garden City, Neb., then to Nebraska City, Neb., and eventually taught in Rapid City, S.D. In addition to her teaching duties, she was also a basketball coach for the girls' basketball team.

After 10 years of teaching, Dorothy decided on another profession of being a bank teller and housewife. After marrying Lawry she worked as a teller at First National Bank in Livingston from 1947 to 1951.

She had three children Ron Brekke, Dave Brekke and Bob Brekke

She became actively involved with Eastern Star in 1957, advanced through the chairs as an officer and served as worthy matron during the organization's 75th anniversary in 1964. She was also active in the Past Matrons Club, Gallatin Sapphira Nile Club and Acacia White Shrine. Dorothy and Lawry were members of the Bozeman United Methodist Church.

She worked as an assistant librarian at the Bozeman Senior High School at three different times between September 1966 and August 1997, for a total of 19 years.

In later years, from March 1982 to December 2004 (for 22 years) she volunteered at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital as a greeter and facilitator.

She and Lawry spent every spring and summer planting and maintaining a large garden. She would start growing some of the seeds inside during April before planting them in June. At the age of 92, during the summer of 2008, she was still planting seeds and removing weeds. She would sit on a small cart with big wheels, moving between the rows of vegetables, digging up the weeds. In the fall, she would can fruits and vegetables, make raspberry jam and zucchini bread.

Dorothy was a very avid reader, continually checking books out from the library.

She enjoyed knitting several types of items for other people. She would knit small hats, slippers and afghans for the newborn children at the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and the special-needs children at the Shriners Hospital in Spokane. A few years ago she traveled to the Shriners Hospital to deliver those gifts in person and receive a tour of the facility.

She enjoyed many summers of walking along and fishing at the small creek which ran through the family homestead near Ringling.

She and Lawry enjoyed traveling. They took many cruises to Alaska, Norway, Denmark, Hawaii, England, Panama Canal (twice) and the South Pacific islands. They also drove to Alaska with their close friends, Betty and Jim Drummond, pulling a trailer. They went an a few Senior Center trips to Branson, Mo., and Omaha, Neb.

She had a great deal of interest in watching various sporting events. She and Lawry had season tickets to the MSU football and basketball events. She enjoyed watching two of her grandsons, Tom and Alex, run long distance and track at the high school. She also was interested in watching her grandson Christopher compete at various 4-H junior horse events.

During the summer and fall when she wasn't in the garden, she would walk around their large yard and pick up twigs that had fallen from the many trees. Then she would break them into smaller lengths to be used in the fireplace.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Lawry; sister, Phyllis Gray; and brother Blaine Branch. She is survived by her sons, Ron Brekke, Dave (Tracy) Brekke, and Bob (Kathy) Brekke; and grandchildren Tom, Alex, Christopher and Tabby.

Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 2472, Spokane, WA 99210; Bozeman United Methodist Church, 121 South Willson Ave., Bozeman, Mt 59715; or the charity of the donor's choice.

Funeral services will be held Monday, April 27, 2009, at 11 a.m., at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel. Interment will follow at Sunset Hills Cemetery.
Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 26, 2009
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