David “Dave” Keith Bredy, 86, passed away Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at his home in Billings, surrounded by love.
He was born on April 25, 1934, in Bismarck, North Dakota, the youngest of 12 children of Carl and Louise (Schonert) Bredy.
Dave had a difficult yet memorable childhood. When he was 16 months old, his father passed away, leaving his mother to raise all 12 children alone in a time before government assistance programs existed. Everyone in the family had to pitch in and contribute to keeping the family afloat. When he was in fourth grade, Dave began working as a paperboy, delivering The Bismarck Tribune after school on his bike in surrounding neighborhoods. He never received an allowance, so from the fourth grade throughout high school Dave saved his well-earned money to pay for his own clothes and haircuts. In the fifth grade, the family’s water heater broke down. The family had no savings to buy a new water heater outright, so the shop owner allowed Dave’s mother to buy on credit. Unbeknownst to her, each Tribune payday, Dave went downtown to the service store and paid money on the account. By Christmas, the water heater was completely paid off, and he was given a receipt that read “paid in full.” Dave wrapped up the receipt in an empty broom box and placed it under the Christmas tree. Surprised and extremely happy, his mom began to cry when she opened the huge box, pulled out all the tissue paper and found the “paid in full” receipt in the bottom. Dave still remembers this moment as a time he will never forget, to remind him of the tough times and how hard work truly can pay off.
Dave attempted to enlist in the army at age 16 but was turned away due to severe asthma. It was then he began his career in the grocery business, working at B&R Food Center after school until dinnertime. He continued working in grocery stores throughout high school and while he attended Bismarck Junior College, where he earned his Associate of Science degree in Business.
Dave married the love of his life, Carol (Dorman), on June 17, 1956. They started their life together in Glendive, where Dave worked at SuperValu. Their three children were born in Glendive: Cindy (1957), Jim (1959), and Alan (1962). In1964, they moved to Billings, where Dave managed and later became a co-owner of Poly IGA Food Basket. Dave enjoyed and appreciated his loyal customers, and they him. He retired from Poly IGA, enjoyed a brief time off, and then went to work at Evergreen IGA until permanently retiring in 1992.
Dave was an avid Denver Broncos fan and for many years traveled with friends to attend a game at Mile High Stadium. He was a member of First United Methodist Church and Golden K Kiwanis.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Louise; his siblings, Gustav, Clara, Hilda, Wilhelm, Paulina, Bertha, Edna, Alvina, Margaretha, Arthur and Marion; his wife, Carol; and his grandson Jeffrey. He is survived by his children, Cindy Bredy of Billings; Jim (Patti Jenkins) of Bainbridge Island, Washington; Alan (Leigh Ann) of Vancouver, Washington; stepdaughter Suzie LeClaire of Billings; and dear friends Ray and Patrice O’Loughlin of Billings. He leaves behind seven grandchildren, one great-grandson, and two great-granddaughters on the way.
Even through the tough times, Dave always had God and his faith to guide him, which is something he was glad to have been able to pass along to his children. Dave’s advice to his grandchildren was to keep your chin up high, do not let disappointments break you, be honest with yourself and others, always do the best of your ability, and stay positive through the journey of life itself.
The family wishes to express their thanks to Dave’s dear friends at Billings Clinic Cardiac Rehab and to the caring members of Compassus Hospice, whose support made it possible for him to spend his final weeks at home.
Per his wishes cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Billings Clinic Foundation, or the charity of your choice.