Douglas Luther Brekke

Doug Brekke died in Big Timber, Montana on Monday Oct. 2, following a four-year battle with metastatic sarcoma cancer. 

Douglas Luther Brekke was born in Bozeman, Montana on Jan. 7, 1958 to Olaf J. and Esther R. (Rugland) Brekke. He was baptized into the Christian faith March 2, 1958 at Hope Lutheran Church in Bozeman. 

Doug attended schools in Bozeman, Chinook and Big Timber; graduating from Sweet Grass County High School in 1976. 

Doug graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota in 1980 with a major in Communications and minors in Mathematics and Religion. His Concordia years inspired him to work as a designer, contractor and producer for audio, video, lighting and entertainment projects. In later years, Doug served on the Concordia National Alumni Board. He helped with and promoted the PBS Television Production of the Concordia College Christmas Concert.

Doug earned a second bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Montana State University in 1987. He was a licensed Professional Electrical Engineer.

During college days, Doug teamed with high school friends and ran the Big Timber Drive In Theater.

Doug founded Black Box Design in 1993. Jim Yocom, LeRoy Delger, Rob Rauser and Mike Shockley teamed with a great part-time crew to grow the company into a regional designer and installer of complex electrical and electronic systems. Customers included Montana State University, the Crazy Mountain Ranch, the Montana State Capitol, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Dehler Park in Billings, Radisson Colonial Hotel in Helena, Kalispell Glacier High School and numerous custom housing projects in Montana and Wyoming. 

Black Box Design provided production services for many sport and entertainment events held primarily in the Montana State University Fieldhouse and Stadium. Since 1981, anyone attending concerts, rodeos, football, basketball, Broadway Shows and fireworks shows enjoyed the fruits of Doug’s skill and hard work. Many shows involved hanging sound and light systems on the Fieldhouse dome (once up to 80,000 pounds). Doug’s professional legacy will live on through Black Box Design’s employee-owners.

Doug was an active member of Big Timber Lutheran Church, once serving as Church Council President. He enjoyed supporting Christikon Lutheran Bible Camp in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness south of Big Timber.

Doug hiked and camped with friends in the Boulder River Drainage south of Big Timber, the Crazy Mountains north of Big Timber and the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

Doug was active in the Montana Society of Engineers. For seven years, he was chairman of the annual Joint Engineers Conference. The Conference provided continuing education opportunities for over 300 Professional Engineers. Doug founded the Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame at MSU.

Doug valued his heritage. He enjoyed staying in touch with his many relatives, who he recently joined in a 100-year milestone celebration of their grandparents’ purchase of the Brekke Ranch near Lennep. Doug especially enjoyed helping his father with a 65-cow/calf herd of Hereford cattle, constructing a trout pond and keeping the ranch, as well as the ancestral Ringling home in good repair.

Doug is survived by his best friend and cherished wife, Pastor Kristi Bummer. They were married by Pastor Rusty Halaas, the minister who had married both the bride’s parents and groom’s parents decades earlier.

Doug had 20 first cousins. He enjoyed staying in touch with the many related families and learning about the many successes of Brekke and Rugland extended families.

Cremation has taken place and graveside services and inurnment will be held 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 at Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston. (Star Road northwest of Livingston).  A memorial service will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the Big Timber Lutheran Church, (115 West 4th Avenue) with a fellowship hour to follow.  Condolences for the family may be made at www.stenbergfuneralhome.com

In lieu of flowers, memorials are encouraged to Big Timber Lutheran Church, PO Box 278, Big Timber, MT 59011, Christikon Lutheran Church Camp, 1108 24th Street West, Billings, MT 59102  or  Concordia College, Advancement Office, 901 8th Street S, Moorhead, MN 56562.

 

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