ROBERT BRUCE BREBNER Obituary | Canale Tonella Funeral Home & Cremation Services


Dec 01, 1926 - Apr 11, 2022


December 01, 1926 - April 11, 2022


Robert Bruce Brebner passed away peacefully in Columbia Falls, Montana, April 11, 2022 from dementia.

Dad was born December 1, 1926 in Central Aguirre, Puerto Rico to parents Robert P. Brebner of Aberdeen, Scotland and Edith Pres-Hanson of Copenhagen, Denmark. They moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin when Dad was six and they spent many summers in Marquette.

Dad graduated from St. John's Military Academy in 1944 then attended Michigan Tech before serving in the Army Air Corps. He attended Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin where he met Sally Wood, whom he married in 1948.

Dad was the president of Brebner Machinery in Marquette. During his business career he served on many boards including 42 years for Bay Cliff Health Camp which was his favorite as he had a heart for challenged children. Dad was instrumental in the start-up of Marquette Mountain. He had many interests outside of the business arena.

He was creative, enjoyed cooking, fishing, hunting, cribbage, skiing, golfing, sailing, flying and horses. He introduced several young people to some of these activities leading them to pursue very successful careers. Dad had a knack for telling jokes, great stories and wordplay. Dad was also chosen to play the corpse in the movie, "Anatomy of a Murder".

Dad gave his children a good childhood and exposure to many activities. Dad was preceded in death by his wife, Sally and son, Robert Patterson Brebner II. A brother, Jack Brebner, has also passed away. He is survived by four nieces, four daughters, Natalie (Jeff) Wisehart of Seeley Lake, Montana, Jamie (Vicki Hunt) Brebner of Libby, Montana, Polly (Dennis) Bell of Marquette and Anne (Alan) Clanton of Guffey, Colorado, eight grandchildren, Ashley Wisehart Dieterich, Mckenna Wisehart Wildhaber, Walker Derby, Hanna Derby, Christina Lambert, Melanie Aragon, Zach Stanley and Abby Clanton as well as 11 great grandchildren.

Please join the Brebner family for laughs, stories, and food on Friday, July 8th from 4 to 6 p.m. at Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Marquette.

Donations may be made in Dad's memory to Bay Cliff Health Camp, PO Box 310, Big Bay, MI 49808 or the Marquette Maritime Museum, 300 Lake Shore Blvd., Marquette, MI 49855. Condolences can be made at

In Dad's words he would tell us, "I love you from the heart of my bottom." >>>

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Celebration of Life
Fri, Jul 8, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services

526 North Third Street
Marquette, MI 49855

Please join the Brebner family for laughs, stories, food and fellowship.

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