In loving memory

Jan Brekke, July 17, 1932 – Aug. 23, 2023

Jan Brekke was born in Horten, Norway, to Gunnar and Ingeborg Brekke. At age 17, Jan was formally trained in cooking in Sweden and shortly thereafter in hotel management in Norway.

This opened the door for Jan to start a life in the United States as the director of food and housing at Mackinac College in Makinac Island, Mich. There he met his wife, Priscilla, who was the food service director. They were married on Nov. 28, 1968.

Several years later, Jan began a successful career in commercial real estate in Seattle, and he continued that well into his 80s. He loved real estate and the art of a deal. In 1973, Jan became a U.S. citizen, but he never lost interest in all things Norwegian.

Jan participated extensively in the National Nordic Museum and the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce in Seattle, Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., and the Norwegian American Foundation, a national organization.

He also served many years on the council of the town of Hunts Point. Jan was a man of great integrity and cared deeply for the success and well being of others. He helped lift the lives of everyone he knew through his thoughtfulness and generosity.

Jan is survived by his wife, Priscilla, his three children, John (Dana), Kristian, and Eleanor, his siblings Nils (Aasta), Anne (Per), Hans Christian (Ada Sofie) and his granddaughters Lenora and Vivian.

A memorial service was held for Jan at Emerald Heights in Redmond, Wash., on Oct. 14. Donations in Jan’s memory may be given to the National Nordic Museum.

This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.