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Burial Date April 9, 2016
Memorial services will be held in Victoria BC and in Regina SK. The Victoria service will be a tasteful English High Tea at Dean’s home, 59 Oswego Street in James Bay, on Saturday April 9, 2016, from 3-6pm. The Regina memorial will be a celebration of his life at Kiwanis (Waterfall) Park on Saturday April 16, 2016 at 3pm, hosted by Cory Brandhagen, and there will be a private reception to follow.
Dean Garnet Brandhagen, 64, Victoria BC, died in the early morning hours, Saturday April 2, 2016, at his home, after a blessedly short battle with cancer. He was completely surrounded by love and passed peacefully in the presence of his life companion of 15 years Vanessa von Schellwitz, his daughter Krista Brandhagen, and step-son Roland von Schellwitz, to whom he was like a father.
Dean was born May 27, 1951, in Swift Current SK, the eldest child to Catherine and Derald Brandhagen. He lived in Regina SK from 1963 until 2001, at which point he moved to Victoria BC. Dean was a highly intelligent, skilled, humble, and humorous man. He was an entrepreneur, a highly accomplished master tradesman, bricklayer, carpenter, and contractor, with his latest passion and
fascination being inspection, maintenance, and building of wood burning systems, though his skills were not limited to these arenas. He always had his finger on the pulse of technological advancement, being extremely adept with videography, building websites, and social media. He was very prolific, extremely generous with his knowledge and expertise, sharing incredibly through his prolific videography oeuvre. An amateur musician, Dean was a very creative man, expressing himself through songwriting and music, and he self-published his Canadian country music album Saskatchewan Stories, which still receives play on several radio stations. Having said all this, it must
be stated that his legacy is his work with addictions. At the time of his death, he had been clean and sober for 37 consecutive years. To say that he was active in the program, or simply “a friend of Bill W.,” would be a serious understatement. The level of his service just cannot be quantified. He saved
and bettered countless lives through sponsorship, speaking, leading workshops, and by being alive and sober. A full and proper account of his many accomplishments would be impossible to document, and would certainly weigh more than several bricks. His motto was “take care of the little
things, and the big things take care of themselves.”
Dean was loved by too many people to record here; he is survived by his life companion Waltraud “Vanessa” von Schellwitz and her son Roland von Schellwitz, with whom he shared the last 15 years of his life; his children from his first marriage to Gloria Malcolm, Cory Brandhagen, Randi Brandhagen, and Krista Brandhagen, and he maintained active and generous relationships with his children until his dying day; sister Faith “Coleen” Lalonde; grandchildren by order of age, Skylar Brandhagen, Zachary Brown, Zoe Brandhagen, and Rodney Ruberry Junior; great grandchild Allan Byrd; nieces and nephews Clinton Brandhagen, Amber Lalonde, Melissa Lalonde, and Katrina
Brandhagen; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. With Dean dies the patriarch of the family. He will be missed beyond imagination.
Memorial services will be held in Victoria BC and in Regina SK. The Victoria service will be a tasteful English High Tea at Dean’s home, 59 Oswego Street in James Bay, on Saturday April 9, 2016, from 3-6pm, hosted by his life companion Vanessa von Schellwitz, assisted by Roland and Krista. In lieu
of sympathy phone calls, please send a card. The Regina memorial will be a celebration of his life at Kiwanis (Waterfall) Park on Saturday April 16, 2016 at 3pm, hosted by Cory Brandhagen, and there will be a private reception to follow. These memorial services are meant for paying respects to Dean
and for celebrating his life. If you are tremendously overcome by grief, and you just can’t take it anymore, please go shout at a body of water; Dean would get a kick out of that, he so treasured the ocean. He had a pet project in his vintage wooden yacht, The Renaissance, and he kept her at Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria BC. As per Dean’s wishes, he is to be cremated and will remain at his home with his companion Vanessa.
Contributions in memory of Dean may be made to the Wild Parrot Refuge, 2116 Alberni Hwy,
Parksville, BC V9P 2B8. Please visit https://worldparrotrefuge.org/ for more information.
It was the great honor and privilege of Krista Brandhagen to write this obituary on April 3, 2016, in
Victoria BC. As her father Dean would say, “one hard thing a day.”
For more information about the celebration of life for Dean Brandhagen CLICK HERE