Cover photo for Lew Brundage's Obituary
Lew Brundage Profile Photo
1919 Lew 2015

Lew Brundage

May 19, 1919 — March 7, 2015

LEW DRUMMEY BRUNDAGE Lew Drummey Brundage (Col. Retired) of Yakima, WA passed away on Saturday, March 7, 2015, at the age of 95, at Highgate Senior Living with his devoted caregiver Tracy Harris by his side. He was the beloved father of Pamela Derrickson Etheridge and Lew Drummey Derrickson of Naples, FL, and Timothy Brundage of Yakima, WA. He was predeceased by his loving wife Dorothy Saxton Brundage of Yakima, WA, and his brothers Dr. Hiram (Bud) Brundage of Yakima, WA and his wife Dode, and Walter Brundage of Dillon, MT and St. George, Utah and his wife Chris.  Also predeceasing him were his parents Hiram M. Brundage and Harriett Drummey Brundage of Dillon, MT.   Lew was born in Dillon, Montana, on May 19, 1919, in the home of his maternal Grandmother Harriett (Sherman) Drummey, a midwife.  A devout Catholic, his grandmother immediately took him to the Catholic Church to be baptized. Later Lew joined St James Episcopal Church which his father's family had helped found in Dillon.   From a family of early pioneers who helped settle the state of Montana and Dillon in the 1860's,  Lew's loving parents Hiram M.  Brundage and Harriett Drummey Brundage and the expanded Brundage family were active citizens of Dillon, owning the original Brundage Funeral Home, founding the Dillon Tribune, and building the historic Brundage Ranch outside of Dillon.   Growing up in Dillon was a treasured experience for Lew, living next door to his grandparents, hunting and becoming an expert fly fisherman, and being involved in sports with his 2 older brothers from an early age. He began working at a young age delivering newspapers, and later as a ranch hand.  From the age of 13, Lew began helping his father in his family business, the Brundage Funeral Home, doing whatever jobs were needed, including driving the hearse.   Lew attended Beaverhead County High School (Class of 1936, the recipient of the Alumni Cup) and Montana State Normal College in Dillon (now the University of Montana Western).   After the University of Montana Western, Lew completed four years at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1942.  In his last year of law school, he married Doris Mae Medley of Charlottesville and together they had a daughter, Pamela Carter and a son, Lew Drummey II. In 1942, Lew hitchhiked from Charlottesville to Washington D.C. to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.   He was called to active duty, and in basic officer training received spinal injuries requiring surgery at UVA hospital, following which he was honorably medically discharged from the Marine Corps.     Lew then moved his family to Dillon, MT and opened his law practice. During further spinal surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, an infection occurred and it was determined Lew would not survive.  Dr Herrell from UVA was visiting the Mayo Clinic and asked the family's permission to try a new drug with which he had been experimenting.  Penicillin was the new drug, and Lew became one of the first people ever to have his life saved by this miracle drug, as written in the Mayo Clinic journals!   Lew resumed practicing law in Dillon as the elected Beaverhead County Attorney.  Among Lew's civic activities in Dillon, he was a member of the American Legion (a National Officer in 1946), the VFW, Rotary, Elks, Secretary of the Montana Rodeo Association, and a lifelong member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.  In addition, he was a proud Life Member of the Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers and ensured that his children Pamela and Lew were as well. He attended many of their annual state conventions. In 1946, he began working for the V.A. in Helena, MT and Portland, OR.  He then met Dorothy Elizabeth Saxton, and they married in 1949. Their beautiful marriage continued for 63 years until Dorothy's death in 2012.   In 1952, Lew volunteered to enter the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Officer (JAG) service. Through the kindness of an old friend who was the examining doctor, Lew was able to pass the Air Force physical, and he with his wife spent the next 28 years as an attorney with the Air Force, travelling the world.  In 1960 they adopted their son, Timothy W. Brundage.  Air Force deployments took them to numerous bases in the U.S. and Tokyo, Honolulu, and Turkey. One most rewarding challenge Lew experienced was being named the first Commandant of the JAG School at AIR University at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama.  Lew completed his Air Force career in Washington D.C. stationed at the Pentagon and retiring as a Colonel. Upon retirement, Lew and Dorothy spent time in Iowa caring for Dorothy's mother, and in 1980 they moved to Yakima, WA to care for Lew's mother as well and to be near Lew's physician brother.  In 2002, Lew and Dorothy moved to Englewood Heights Retirement Village in Yakima, and after Dorothy's passing, Lew moved to Highgate Senior Living in 2014. Surviving Lew are his children, Pamela Derrickson Etheridge and Lew (LuAnn) Derrickson, of Naples, FL, and Timothy Brundage of Yakima, WA.   He is also survived by 7 grandchildren: Daniel Etheridge and Michael (Tara) Etheridge of Los Angeles, CA; Annie (James) Burnside of Wilmette, IL; Leigh (Louis) Lazaron of Indianapolis, IN; Todd Higgins (Jane) of Naples, FL; Rodd Higgins of Milwaukee, WI; and Kristen (Kurt) Martens of Anchorage, AK.  Survivors also include 14 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are nephew Richard Brundage of Missouri, great-niece Kelly Brundage Hensley of Davenport, WA, cousin Barbara Brundage Yunker of Olympia, WA and several other nieces and nephews.  Also surviving are long-time family friends Gerrit and Toshiko Lodder of the Netherlands. Lew and his family are grateful for the loving care of his devoted caregivers Tracy Harris, Colleen Woodcock, Taylor Judd, Doris Kautzmann, and Megan Hill, who felt it was a privilege to share Lew's last years.   Visitation will be held on Friday, March 13, in Dillon at the Brundage Funeral Home from 9:00 to 10:30, with services beginning at St James Episcopal Church at 11 a.m., Mother Sue Eades officiating. Following a burial service at the Mountain View Cemetery in Dillon, attendees are invited to join the family for lunch at the St James Episcopal Church Social Hall.    Memorial donations may be made to Barrett Hospital or St. James Episcopal Church in Dillon, to the Montana Historical Society, or to a charity of choice.  Lew's family is grateful for the many expressions of sympathy.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lew Brundage, please visit our flower store.

Guestbook

Photo Gallery

Visits: 15

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree