John Edwin Brookhart, known as "Big John" Brookhart by family and friends, peacefully passed away on Jan. 11, 2013, in Bismarck, N.D., following his battle with cancer. He was 76 years old.
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Services will be held at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, N.D., on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. Public visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m.
John was born June 25, 1936, in York, Neb., to Maurice and Margaret Brookhart. During John's early years the family moved frequently as Morris was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Margaret was strong in her Christian faith and a talented music teacher.
After World War II the family would settle in Bozeman, and that is where John would grow up and get his formal education. John made countless friends in the Bozeman area. He loved the mountains and the outdoors, from fishing down at the family creek to skiing at Bridger Bowl. He graduated with honors from Montana State University in 1958, and was voted senior class president. He was always a huge fan of the Montana Bobcats football team.
After graduation John moved to Billings and started his family, as well as his career in media and communications. He was hired by Montana Dakota Utilities as a Corporate Communications Executive and moved to Bismarck, N.D., in 1968. John dedicated approximately 30 years working for MDU.
John was "larger than life." He was quick-witted, funny, entertaining, and could tell a joke or story like no one else. He was a great friend to many and a wonderful father and mentor.
John is survived by his children, Staci Rhodes of New Braunfels, Texas, Shawn Brookhart of Billings, Mont., Gene and Cynthia Brookhart of Los Angeles, Calif., and Darren and Chunxiu Brookhart of Albany, N.Y.; his brother, Glen and Karen Brookhart; sister, Ella and Gary Higgins, both of Bozeman; grandchildren, Shannon, Christopher, Jehremiah, Alicia, Rachelle, and Ryan; and three great-grandchildren.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice and Margaret.
Go to www.parkwayfuneral.com to share memories of John and to sign the online guestbook.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 15, 2013