BOZEMAN — Robert Otto Brandenberger, 92, formerly of Missoula, died on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, in Bozeman. Born to Swiss immigrants on July 1, 1925, in Union City, New Jersey, he spent his childhood in New Jersey and Switzerland.
At 16 years of age Bob graduated valedictorian of Dumont, New Jersey High School. Too young to enlist in the military, he moved with his parents to East Greenwich, Rhode Island, where he worked in a military parts factory. He enlisted and served in the U.S. Navy as an Aviator from 1943 to 1946. During the summer of 1948 he worked as a smoke jumper based out of Missoula. He graduated with a bachelor's in forestry from the University of Michigan in 1948, followed by a master's in forestry from Yale University in 1950.
For 35 years Bob worked for the U.S. Forest Service on five National Forests in Northern Idaho and Montana. He was instrumental in the planning and development of many ski areas in the region, and played an active role in planning and administration of campgrounds, marinas and other recreation facilities on Forest Service lands. Upon retirement from the Forest Service, Bob continued his work as a ski area consultant and remained an avid skier until age 90.
Bob met his wife Jerrie Ann Kerrick Brandenberger in St. Maries, Idaho. They were married in 1953 and shared a life filled with family and outdoor adventure until Jerrie’s passing in 2001. Bob is survived by his children, Nan Brandenbergerpayne (Mark Payne) of Bozeman, Holly (Buzz Tarlow) of Bozeman, Seth (Stephanie) of Helena, and Ned (Jennifer) of Sandpoint, Idaho. He is also survived by his grandchildren; Caitlyn Payne, Sarajane Tarlow, Jed Tarlow, Luke Brandenberger, Karl Brandenberger, Will Brandenberger, and Kendall Brandenberger as well as his sister Liz Rue of California.
No service is planned at Bob’s request. Memorials may be made to The Nature Conservancy or Planned Parenthood.