OBITUARY

Steven Alby Brazeau

August 6, 1952February 28, 2017

Dr. Steven Alby Brazeau The manuscript of Steven Brazeau’s life on Earth- rich, full, passionate and dynamic, has now gone safely to the Printer. His Soul may have passed from our eyes on February 28, 2017 but his Story has no end.

Sheldon Vanauken, a friend of CS Lewis described such a life this way: “If there were a choice… between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now, chose the heights and the depths.”

Steve’s life was action-packed and packed with meaning. Born on August 6, 1952 to Lila Freiboth Brazeau and Ruben Alby Brazeau, he was an active and rambunctious boy in Kingston, Washington, until he attended the University of Washington in 1970. There, according to his mother, he was only “rambunctious” during his Freshman year, earning “just” a 3.8 GPA. After this low blow, he buckled down and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with honors. He stayed on at the UW to earn his Doctor of Dental Science Degree (DDS) in 1978.

During his years as a UW student, Steve worked as an oiler in the engine rooms of the Washington State Ferries, found a free apartment under the Cat Clinic of Seattle, and in 1973 married his true-love, Janice Cathleen Otten.

Steve and Jan had met on the road by the slough in Kingston, Washington, in the summer of 1970. He was in a fast, eye-catching green muscle car- his older brother’s Plymouth Roadrunner. He revved the engine to pass her and their eyes met. She flashed her bright lights and he pulled over. One could say it was a citizen’s arrest.

Steve practiced dentistry in Carnation, Washington from 1978 to 1989, after which he sold his practice and home and moved his family to the Dominican Republic. There he worked as a Christian missionary dentist and church planter from 1990 to 1993. In 1993 he returned with his family to the United Sates and settled in Yakima, Washington, to work for the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic and to enjoy the good hunting in Yakima’s foothills. In 1996 Steve purchased a dental practice from Dr. Raymond Haight, and later the practice of Dr. Harold Clark. He moved both practices into Dr. Clark’s office- the iconic Korach Building on 16th and Yakima Avenue and has practiced there ever since. He was not yet retired when he passed away from health complications.

Even as a child, knowing God was important to Steve. In Carnation, he and Jan started a new church, Carnation Bible Church, in their living room with neighbors, Don and Bev Unruh, NWCBA church planter Jerry Back, and evangelist Elmer Magnussen. In the Dominican Republic they started an outreach ministry, using dentistry to share the love of Jesus Christ and a new church was born in the community of Los Girasoles, on the north side of Santo Domingo. Steve served as an elder at Memorial Bible Church (MBC) in Yakima for many years. Steve and Jan accompanied two MBC mission trips to Mexico and in 2000 and 2001 they worked with Haiti Medical Team’s outreach to the Dominican Republic. Steve also enthusiastically volunteered at the Union Gospel Mission Dental Clinic in Yakima.

Janice had felt called to missions as a child but Steve was a busy young dentist with no similar interest. Then he saw a newspaper article about an organization called Healing the Children. They were seeking foster parents to house and care for children from underserved countries needing heart surgery. Steve and Janice signed up and, in 1988, 9 year- old Zoraida arrived from the Dominican Republic. Born with only half of a heart, when she limped off the plane they could see how close she was to death from cardiac insufficiency. Seattle heart surgeon, Edward Rittenhouse, performed a heroic surgery and many other life-saving procedures. She was near death three times. Thanks to God and Dr. Rittenhouse, she survived those events and still lives today. Through the experience, God touched Steve’s heart and called him to missionary service.

Every year since 2002 they have led MBC teams to the DR, with the primary purpose of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor Jesus Cordova, Allen and Elaine Miller, Ken Howie, Kaye Zook, Dee Powell, Goldie Hoffman, daughter Sara, son Steve and his wife, Laura, Cheri Alexander and many others were integral to this ministry. In the Dominican Republic our partner ministers are Roberto and wife Idania Polanco, and Dr. Bienvenido Yeme. They embraced Steve as a brother and father, and he responded in kind.

Steve is survived by his wife, Janice Brazeau; two daughters, Melissa Green (Jameson) and Sara Lorig (Douglas); one son, Steve Brazeau, Jr. (Laura Eastman); his beloved grandchildren, Mikaela (Zachary), Hailey, Evelyn, Arden, Nathan, and Tess. He is also survived by his mother, Lila Freiboth Brazeau, his brother (whose name is not disclosed), and his niece, Amy. He was predeceased by his father, Ruben Alby Brazeau in 1986.

Steve enjoyed tending his small orchard and vineyard, gourmet cooking, winemaking, salmon fishing in Puget Sound, smelt fishing at Kalaloch, ATV trips, hunting, camping, traveling to Scotland, Seattle sports teams, Disney parks and anything associated with his grandchildren. He loved us, family and friends, extremely well—sacrificially, faithfully and unconditionally.

Steve will be remembered on March 25, 2017 at 11:00 am at Memorial Bible Church, 111 Old Stage Way, in Gleed. Tax-free Memorial gifts may be offered to Memorial Bible Church’s Forward Fund, or MBC Medical-Dental-Outreach Teams.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 25, 2017

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Private Graveside Service
REMEMBERING

Steven Alby Brazeau

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Jane McIntosh

March 28, 2017

My Deepest Thoughts and Prayers to all of Dr Steve's Family and Friends. This is a huge loss, he was such a fun, nice person. I will Truly Miss him.

Connie and Loren Stenhoff

March 18, 2017

Steve was a bright light for all who knew him. Such a generous kind man who served the Lord well. I will always treasure the memories of our DR trips..(by the way, does the tarantula still live?) When I moved my elderly mother here to Yakima, Steve took her as a dental patient and was always kind and gentle with her for which I am forever grateful. Steve will be missed by all...

Jan Manning

March 18, 2017

My husband Don and I will always affectionately remember Steve as "Wild Drill," which was his alias in the game of Cowboy Action Shooting, another sport he embraced. Whether I saw him as a patient, as a customer at Shooters Supply, or as a shooting competitor in cowboy gear, it was always a bright spot in the day. He brightened many lives, but even in his absence, his light will continue to shine.

March 18, 2017

Linda Brown

March 18, 2017

My sincere condolences to you,Jan and your family. I feel so blessed and honored to have had the chance to know Steve. He was a unique individual full of love for life and laughter. Phil and I have enjoyed the moments of time we had with the both of you. Our love and prayers to you and the family.

Helen Riehl

March 16, 2017

Dear Janice and Family,

Please accept my deepest condolences on Steven's death. You have a wonderful loving family, many friends and great faith that will lead you forward. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Steve's obituary was so beautifully and lovingly crafted. What a tribute.

Mark Pinkerton

March 15, 2017

I was so saddened to hear of Dr. Brazeau passing. He was a great example of a Christian and I admired him for all the work he did to help others. He was the best dentist I've ever had. I'm really going to miss Dr. B. Our prayers go up for the family.

M. A. Paolucci

March 9, 2017

Dr. Brazeau was the first person to speak to me as a colleague. His work at Farm Workers Clinic inspired me and I looked forward to continued conversation with him. He will be greatly missed in many ways.

Sally Stamm

March 8, 2017

We were so grieved to hear of Dr. B's passing. Prayers for you, Jan, your family, and all of the office staff, both from us and our church family. May the God of all comfort, give you comfort now and always.

Love, Greg and Sally Stamm

March 8, 2017

I met Dr. Brazeau years ago when I first moved to Yakima. I was always amazed by his positive attitude and his dedication to serving the needy, both here and in other countries. They don't make men like him anymore. My prayers to Mrs. Janice Brazeau and her family.
Carlos Dorantes, Yakima.

FROM THE FAMILY