Friday, March 03, 2006

The Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary of Robert and Rita Bremner

From the Great Falls Tribune:

Robert and Rita Bremner

A celebration with family and friends marked the 60th wedding anniversary of Robert and Rita Bremner of Browning.

Rita Louise Buckman and Robert Charles Bremner were married on February 25, 1946, in Cut Bank.

Robert Bremner worked for the Montana Department of Transportation for 37 1/2 years. Rita Bremner worked for School District 9 for 18 years and raised 12 chlidren, as well as one adopted daughter. Their daughter Verna Bremner Ernst, was killed by a drunk driver in a car accident and they raised her son, Josh.

Robert Bremner is a deacon in the Catholic Church, serving in that role for 23 years at the Little Flower Parish and areas around Browning. Rita served with him, working 23 years in such areas as the St. Vincent de Paul store and emergency services.

Now legally blind, Robert is less involved in his work as a deacon and she retired from St. Vincent de Paul.

He served on the Browning Public School board of trustees for seven years.

The Bremners enjoy time spent with their family. They live with their daughter, Mary Jo Bremner, a teacher at Browning High School.

They are proud that all of their 12 children graduated from high school at Browning and all attended some kind of post-secondary schooling. They have a wall in their home that honors all the high school graduates, children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Their children are Zita R. Bremner of Browning, Lockley C. and Tracy Bremner of St. Ignatius, Dawn C. Bremner of Browning, Mabel and Harold Davis of Seattle, Mary Jo Bremner of Browning, Joan and Robby Wellman of Valier, Robert L. and Katie Bremner of Browning, William M. and Jackie Bremner of Browning, Barbara L. and Martin Connelly of Browning, Stacy Renee Bremner of Browning, June and Vance Matt of Browning, and Peggy and Ken Carmack of Portland, OR. There are 23 grandchldren, 19 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

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When the Sunday paper comes, I check the weddings with a sense of alarm and worry, even though I hardly ever know who the couples are. I fear for their futures in a world where half of marriages fail. Their jobs don’t seem quite adequate and I worry about the brides when they begin to have babies, if they haven’t already given birth several times.

So I turn to the anniversaries for comfort, for these are the veterans -- the ones who made it through all the challenges. Often their “now” photos are far more appealing than their “then” photos, because their “now” faces are full of memories and laugh lines. Consider SIXTY years of marriage!

Robert Bremner is what I consider a prototype true Blackfeet man: a family man, a religious man, a faithful man with a stalwart wife, and a man who serves his community without enriching himself or claiming advantages for his kids. He was BIG when he was on the school board that hired me in 1961. So was Merle Magee, on the same board. I had to tip my head back to talk to them if I were standing closeby. So far as I know, neither was ever on the Tribal Council but both were hard-working, respected and achieving. One of their main achievements was their kids, always among the better students. I think about a third of them passed through my English classes.

I look at the “then” photo: Robert, a soldier still in uniform. Rita, so young with her permed bangs. (She still wears a curly perm, but with glasses now.) They look entirely different in the two photos, and yet they look the same. One of the keys to their success has been a kind of stability and consistency that people don’t usually attribute to Indians. The movies don’t generally feature this kind of person -- not exciting enough. Yet this is the kind of person who steadied a family-based band as they met the challenges of weather, enemies, surprises on the plains. They weren’t invented yesterday. When the first European adventurers got here, they said this is what the people were like: calm, steady, hard-working, religious, and joke-loving. And BIG. Far more than the shrieking teenagers in bad wigs who rode pintos in decades of movies.

2 comments:

zmoney said...

hey my name is Zita Ottersbach.....thats my grandparents.....i'm Renee's daughter....your blogs cool

Nels Bremner said...

Hey Mary Jo,

Just read the story of Robert and Rita.....Our parents will celebrate their 61st Anniversary on June 29th.

Will ttys.

Take care,

Your cousin always,
Nels Bremner :)