GORDON BREMER
1945 - 2020
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Gordon Darwin Bremer  
Gordon Darwin Bremer died August 24,2020 at his home on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC after a five-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born October 8, 1945 in Burlington, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Following college, he served as a Peace Corps agricultural volunteer in Peru and then as a Peace Corps staff Associate Director in El Salvador. While working for Peace Corps, he met and married his wife of 44 years, Carla Yates-Bremer, and they moved from D.C. to Nebraska to follow his dream of being a hands-on farmer. In 1985 they moved to El Salvador as Gordon continued what would be a 35-year career in international development - first with Arthur Young and then with Chemonics International. During his long career he worked - often as chief of party - in over 60 countries, including The Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, Colombia, Botswana, and Afghanistan, where he spent the last five years of his career before his retirement in 2014. Gordon will be remembered by his colleagues for his hard work and commitment to the cause of international development, and by family, friends and all who knew him for being kind, smart, and generous, with a loving devotion to family, unfailing sense of fairness, droll sense of humor, and great enjoyment of antique Mini Coopers and of course the Washington Nationals. He was preceded in death by his parents, Darwin and Doris Bremer; his sister, Bonnie Ghere; and his niece, Joni O'Donald. His sister, Beth Smolarek died the day after he did, August 25, in Wisconsin. Gordon is survived by his wife, Carla; son, Michael and daughter-in-law, Ximena of Miami; son, Jonathan and daughter-in-law, Meredith of Richmond; son, Adam and daughter-in-law, Nadia of Washington; son, Anthony of Washington; grandchildren, Nicole, Isabella, William, Lucia and Owen; sister-in-law, Kathy Yates of Richmond; nieces, Rachel Spencer of Richmond, Bailey Smolarek of Madison, Wisconsin and Emily Smolarek of Denver; nephew, Scott O'Donald of Minneapolis; and extended family Thulani and Waahida Mbatha and their sons, Themba and Amari of South Africa. A virtual memorial service for Gordon is being held at a later date.

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Published in The Washington Post on Sep. 6, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
September 26, 2020
In our high school, Anthony stood out brightly. I set out to know what made this person uniquely grounded. Meeting more members of the Bremer family told part of the story. Brilliant parents, Carla and Gordon, authored an illustrated legacy that reaches beyond cultural borders. It makes sense that love began in an active pursuit of peace! A moment spent in the home they built feels spiritual and full of meaning. Anthony’s art mindfully continues a vibrant narrative. Artifacts of Gordon’s wonderfully lived life are preserved with love in radiant ink. Compassionate support from the whole family transformed ideas into reality before our eyes. Gratitude is endless for an enduring friendship with the Bremer family. I treasure all our time together. It was a fantastic day at the farm! Thank you Gordon, for sharing so much kindness with so many people. Love surround all survivors.
Lela D.
Friend
September 26, 2020
In our high school, Anthony stood out brightly. I set out to know what made this person uniquely grounded. Meeting more members of the Bremer family told part of the story. Brilliant parents, Carla and Gordon, authored an illustrated legacy that reaches beyond cultural borders. It makes sense that love began in an active pursuit of peace! A moment spent in the home they built feels spiritual and full of meaning. Anthony’s art mindfully continues a vibrant narrative. Artifacts of Gordon’s wonderfully lived life are preserved with love in radiant ink. Compassionate support from the whole family transformed ideas into reality before our eyes. Gratitude is endless for an enduring friendship with the Bremer family. I treasure all our time together. It was a fantastic day at the farm! Thank you Gordon, for sharing so much kindness with so many people. Love surround all survivors.
Lela D.
Friend
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