Darrel Bratten, 75, passed away on Oct. 20, 2012, at the home of his son, James Bratten, in Fairbanks.
We will all miss Darrel's wit and humor. Even through the discomforts of the last several months of his life, we would often see that Irish twinkle in his eyes when he would crack some joke; many times the joke would be on himself. We are pleased to know that now those discomforts are gone and that he is resting in a place of peace.
Darrel was born on Dec. 5, 1936, in Littlefork, Minn., to Peter and Irene Bratten.
Shortly after graduating from high school in Littlefork, he, along with his twin brother, Duane, volunteered for the draft and spent just under two years in the Army, 18 months of which were spent on deployment to Germany. Shortly after his stint in the Army, Darrel decided he should get a college education, so he enrolled in the University of Minnesota
and studied International Relations. He finished the four year course in just over three years and graduated summa cum laude.
In addition to his college studies, Darrel worked full time for Pinkerton Securities as a guard/night watchman at banks in the Minneapolis area. After graduating, he worked for Pinkerton as an undercover employee for various companies to make owners aware of employee concerns and/or of any theft or other criminal activities.
He later worked for Bell Telephone Company and for the state of Minnesota in various employment agencies. After a few of these office-type jobs, and after he drifted back to working in the woods, cutting pulpwood and other related jobs, he would often joke with the comment, "I'll bet I'm the best educated lumberjack in northern Minnesota!"
Darrel married Jacquelyn Esther Larson on Jan. 20, 1968, and becoming tired of 40 below zero in northern Minnesota, they decided to move to Fairbanks where they could experience 60 below. They made the move in 1969 and Darrel found work on the Arctic Coast unloading barges and doing other types of construction work before the trans-Alaska pipeline got started. Darrel held several logging and truck driving jobs, both in Minnesota and Alaska. When not working, Darrel took advantage of many outdoor activities that Alaska offered such as snowmachining, four-wheeling, skiing, hunting and fishing. He loved his family and he had a very special love for his little Chihuahua dogs.
He is survived by his wife Jackie; their sons, Peter and James (Jessica) in Fairbanks; their daughter, Polly Smith and her sons, Matthew, Shawn and Zachary in Indianapolis, Ind.; his brothers, Donald (Elaine) in Payson, Ariz., and Duane (Inez) in Mesquite, Nev., plus many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Pete and Irene, his sisters, Barbara Promersberger and Kathleen Pickar, and his brother, Bernie.
A celebration of Darrel's life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.