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Obituary of Gary D. Brodersen
Gary Dean Brodersen
February 19, 1940 - April 20, 2023
On Thursday, April 20, 2023, Gary Dean Brodersen (83) went to his heavenly home surrounded by his loved ones. Gary Brodersen was born on February 19, 1940, to Eugene and Clover Brodersen in Omaha, Nebraska. Gary was the youngest of two sons. In 1943, the Brodersen family moved from Nebraska to Lodi, where Gary spent most of his childhood working on the family’s dairy farm in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Gary graduated from Lodi High School and initially attended a local Community College in the area. Gary worked through school in a local cannery and as a hospital/ambulance orderly. Gary later moved to Inglewood, CA when he was recruited to attend Northrup Institute of Technology (NIT). In 1963 Gary graduated from NIT with a degree in Electronic Engineering. Moving to southern CA for school enabled Gary to be close to his beloved Aunt Peggy.
After graduation, Gary’s love for airplanes and space led to flying lessons and a civilian career with U.S. Navy - Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) located at North Island, CA. In 1965, Gary met and married his first wife, Eleanor (Patty) Sorbel. By July of 1969, Gary and Patty’s family included two sets of twins and plenty of adventures. In 1970, the Brodersen family moved to Granada Hills, CA, to support Gary’s transfer to the NAVAIR San Bernadino/ Lockheed Martin Facility. While in Granada Hills, Gary kept busy as a hands-on Dad to four active children helping with Little League, Soccer Team Dad, Cub Scouts, as well as an active church member at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church. Gary’s career eventually led to a promotion and transfer in 1982 to NAVAIR located at Pentagon City and Patuxent River, where he continued his expertise in Heads-Up Display (HUD) for Navy jets. Gary’s most notable projects and planes included: Lockheed S-3A; Orion P-3C, A-12 Avenger II, and the F-22 Raptor.
In 1996, after over 30 years of service Gary retired from NAVAIR. Gary then transitioned to working for Systems Planning Corporation (SPC) supporting various Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) programs for the next 5 years, before becoming the primary caregiver to his wife, Patty, until she passed in 2006.
Gary dedicated his life to service: God, Country, and Family. Gary’s quiet humility and strong faith were seen in every aspect of his life. Gary served as head usher at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church for many years and enjoyed traveling with the family. Many trips that included cross country driving trips from CA to South Dakota every other year, family vacations to Florida, Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Canadian Rockies. Gary also loved to spend time with his seven grandchildren. Gary’s love of Science Fiction and Space led to volunteer positions at Griffith Park Observatory in CA, Naval Observatory in Washington DC, and as a member of an Astronomy Club. After Patty’s death in 2006, Gary became very active at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Stephen Ministry and in the Healing Ministry programs.
In January 2011, Gary married Jeanne Dahl and enjoyed the blending of their two families and sharing their common faith. Gary and Jeanne went on wonderful trips to Hawaii, Florida and visiting family in Nebraska. Jeanne shared her love of gourmet foods and enjoyed having Gary as her taste tester. They supported the grandchildren by attending their sporting events, graduations, and marriage.
In 2016, Gary was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD) and saw rapid progression of the disease during the COVID pandemic period.
Gary was the devoted husband of Jeanne Dahl-Brodersen (12 years), beloved Father of Gregory Brodersen (Stephanie), Greta Steger (David), Brenda Fedorko (Daniel), and Brett Brodersen. Gary was a wonderful Grandfather to Scott Steger (Ashley), Jessica Brodersen, Bryan Steger, Nicholas Brodersen, Jeremy Brodersen, Matthew Fedorko, and Megan Fedorko. Gary was a cousin to Norma (Don) Cece and Karen Miller. Brother-in-law to Rodney (Cindy) Dahl, Jim (Susan) Dahl, Herbert Sorbel, Dale Harpstead and Dorothy Nielsen.
Gary was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 41 years, Eleanor (Patty) Brodersen, his parents Eugene and Clover Brodersen, his brother Richard (Francis) Brodersen, and beloved Aunt Uarda Lillian (Peggy) Smith, his Sister-in-laws Mary Harpstead, Evelyn Boyer, and Shirley Grinde, and his Brother-in-laws Donald Sorbel, Tom Boyer, Ardon (Bud) Grinde and James Nielsen.
On Friday, April 28, 2023, from 6 – 8 p.m., a Viewing will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Virginia. On Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 10 a.m., a Celebration of Life service will be held at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Luncheon immediately following service at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Internment is scheduled at 2 pm at the Fairfax Memorial Park located in Fairfax, Virginia. The family requests that guests wear color to celebrate Gary’s life.
In lieu of flowers, family requests donations to: Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in memory of Gary Brodersen, supporting the Healing Ministry at Prince of Peace or the Insight Memory Care Center located in Fairfax VA.
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Celebration of Life