“A meadow lark sings and it is spring. And summer comes. A year is done. Another comes and it is done. Where spindling poplars lift their dusty leaves and wild sunflowers stare, the gravestones stand among the prairie grasses. Over them a rapt and endless silence lies. This soil is rich.” – W.O. Mitchell
With heavy hearts, Brad’s family must announce his passing in Penticton, B.C. on Saturday, June 8, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born March 3, 1954 in Neudorf, Sask., Brad was the third child of Chris and Mary Ottenbreit. Raised on a farm northwest of Grayson, Brad started his school years at Gelowitz School, a small one-room schoolhouse, until most of the country schools closed in 1964 and students were bused into nearby towns. Brad then attended Killaly School. When his parents moved off the farm into Grayson, he attended Grayson School, followed by high school in Melville.
After high school, Brad went to work in a logging camp in Northwest Ontario, eventually ending up in Mackenzie, B.C., where he continued to work in the logging industry and eventually bought a house.
In 1979, Brad sold his house in Mackenzie and bought his farm, two miles east of Grayson on Highway 22. Shortly thereafter, Brad converted the old barn there into a place for barn dances. He named this barn, Barn 22, and it was a major source of entertainment for people in the surrounding area throughout the 1980s and 1990s. People would come from far and wide to see the bands that played there, to dance, to party and to meet new people and hang out with old friends.
Brad loved sports. Throughout the years he played fastball, broomball, slo-pitch and curled. He enjoyed watching hockey and football, and was a huge fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Brad spent a lot of his life between both B.C. and Saskatchewan. In the last several years he divided his time between Grayson and in the Oliver/Okanagan area of B.C.
Brad was predeceased by his mother, Mary, in 1968; and his father, Chris, in 2005.
Brad leaves plenty of people who love him, behind on this earth: his wife, Kelly, who, though their time together was brief, he found his soulmate; his children from his first marriage, including daughter Alicia with her daughters, Skyla, Gemma and Cassandra; son Beau; and son, Shea (Chantel) with their children, Kaden, Kali, Keenan, Kashton and Kirianna; his stepdaughters from Kelly, including Chelsey (Kevin) with their son, Blake; Courtney (Wesley) with their sons, Mason and Shane and Halley (Matthew) with her son, Jacob; his siblings, including his brothers, Eric (June) and Rodney (Doreen); and sister, Cheryl (Byron); as well as numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.
Kelly brought Brad’s ashes home to Saskatchewan for interment in Grayson. A funeral service was held at St. Mary’s Parish, followed by a get-together at Barn 22 for one last party in his memory.