Sophie Helen Brissenden Sept. 19, 1918 - Oct. 3, 2016 Born in Broadview, Montana, Sophie Brissenden passed away at age 98 on Monday, October 3rd in Merced, California. Never a religious person, Sophie would be satisfied if we said she had gone to that great cattle roundup in the sky. Sophie was a very dignified, principled, and hard working person. She was born to German parents (Henry and Marie Burmeister) who traveled from Germany to Argentina, then to Galveston,Texas, and Oklahoma before finally settling in Broadview, Montana to a dry land wheat farm operation. Sophie had a life-long love of the outdoors and was admonished, as a little girl, for spending too much time with the horses, cats, and other critters - and not tending enough to the household chores. Like many of her locale and generation, she rode a horse the three miles to school and if the horse was otherwise engaged in field work, she walked. She did excel at domestic tasks and was an excellent cook - especially her delicious holiday meals. But she thrived, life-long, in the outdoors, doting on her landscaping, working in the soil and planting her favorite annuals in her home's front planters. She trained as a secretary upon graduating high school and practiced the now-lost art of stenography, utilizing Gregg Shorthand. Upon completing her secretarial schooling she left home for Glasgow, Montana and worked for the administrators of the Fort Peck Dam construction project. It was there that she met her husband Robert "Bob" Brissenden (born in Roundup, Montana). They married in 1942. Together they moved to Washington State. Sophie remained there while Bob was overseas during WWII. Upon his return, they moved to Palo Alto, CA and finally settled in Stockton, CA. Sophie and Bob lived in Stockton for over 50 years. Sophie had many work experiences as a secretary and she proudly retired from the Bank of America, in Stockton, where she was employed in their agricultural appraisal office. Upon Bob's passing, in 1993, Sophie took care of her Stockton home, inside and out, maintained her car in mint condition, read two newspapers a day and maintained a very active and informed life. In 2006, Sophie moved to Merced, CA. She remained strong and resilient, with many capabilities, until her final days. She enjoyed the occasional drive into the rolling foothills below the Sierra Nevada mountains. She would look out on cattle pastures and remark about the "wide open spaces" that sheloved. She would always enjoy a clear night sky and a full moon and would reminisce about the crisp, winter night skies of her girlhood in Montana, and high lonesome train whistles that she recalled from her childhood in Broadview. She was a formidable presence and she will be dearly missed. Sophie is survived by her three daughters: Helena, Barbara, and Nancy; grandson Peter; and great-grandchildren Hugh, Gavin, and Loveday. There will be no services.
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