BRETTRAGER, Donald R. – of Chesaning, died Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, at Oliver Woods Retirement Village in Owosso, surrounded by family. He was 89 years of age.
Don was born January 18, 1930 in Saginaw to the late Joseph and Elizabeth (Bechtel) Brettrager. He grew up on a farm in Spaulding Twp. He learned to be a machinist at his brother’s company, Brettrager Manufacturing Co. He earned his pilot’s license in 1948. Don then served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict from 1951 to 1953. He also owned many aircrafts, but none compared to his BT-13. Don flew his aircrafts until 2014 when he stopped for medical reasons. He gave many, many young kids their first airplane ride, many of those children included his own Grandchildren. Besides his family, flying was the other love of his life.
In October 1956, he was united in marriage to Patricia Collison. They started Chesaning MFG in 1963 to do machine work. They moved their family to Chesaning in 1970. In the 1980’s, he started doing overhaul tools for the aircraft industry. In the early 1990’s, their first Company Bretco was sold and they purchased Jetool, which was officially named Chesaning Manufacturing DBA Jetool.
Don was a member of St. Peter Parish Catholic Church of Chesaning, American Legion Post 212 of Chesaning, the Young Eagles, and Saginaw Air Museum.
Those left to mourn him are: his wife, Patricia; children: Tom (Barb) Brettrager, Dan (Karen) Brettrager, Janet (Mike) Stoll, all of Chesaning, Ron Brettrager of Hemlock, and Connie (Pete) Conrad of Ludington; 13 Grandchildren; 15 Great-Grandchildren; brother, Ed (Lucille) Brettrager; many nieces and nephews. Don was also preceded in death by his brothers, Joseph, Henry and Norman; and his sisters, Elizabeth Fortier, Theresa Stannlis, and Eleanor Hart.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 4, 2019, at St. Peter Parish Catholic Church, 404 S. Wood Street, Chesaning with Fr. William Gruden officiating. Visitation will be at the church Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of the Mass at 11:00 a.m. Cremation has taken place. Private inurnment will be at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to Wings of Mercy East Michigan, P.O. Box 622, Bay City, MI 48707 or a charity of one’s choice. You may light a memorial candle or share a condolence at misiukfuneralhome.com.
Misiuk Funeral Home
202 S. Front Street
Chesaning, MI 48616
Donations may be made to:
Wings of Mercy East Michigan
P.O. Box 622, Bay City MI 48707