DR. STEVEN A. BRAZEAU, CLASS OF 1978
Dr. Steven Alby Brazeau passed away on Feb. 28, 2017. He was 64.
Dr. Brazeau was born on Aug. 6, 1952 to Lila Freiboth Brazeau and Ruben Alby Brazeau. He was an active and rambunctious boy in Kingston, Wash., until he attended the UW in 1970. There, according to his mother, he was only “rambunctious” during his freshman year, earning “just” a 3.8 GPA. After this low blow, he buckled down and received a bachelor’s degree in biology with honors before entering the School of Dentistry.
During his years as a UW student, Dr. Brazeau worked as an oiler in the engine rooms of the Washington State Ferries, found a free apartment under the Cat Clinic of Seattle and, in 1973, married his true love, Janice Cathleen Otten.
The couple had met on the road by the slough in Kingston, Wash., in the summer of 1970. He was in an eye-catching green muscle car, his older brother’s fast Plymouth Roadrunner. He revved the engine to pass her and their eyes met. She flashed her bright lights and he pulled over. One could say it was a citizen’s arrest.
Dr. Brazeau practiced dentistry in Carnation, Wash., from 1978 to 1989, after which he sold his practice and home and moved his family to the Dominican Republic. There he worked as a Christian missionary dentist and church planter from 1990 to 1993. In 1993, he and his family settled in Yakima, Wash., where he worked for the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic and enjoyed the good hunting in the foothills.
In 1996, he purchased a dental practice from Dr. Raymond Haight, and later the practice of Dr. Harold Clark. He moved both practices into Dr. Clark’s office in the iconic Korach Building. He was not yet retired when he passed away from health complications.
Even as a child, knowing God was important to Dr. Brazeau. In Carnation, he and his wife started Carnation Bible Church in their living room with neighbors Don and Bev Unruh, NWCBA church planter Jerry Back and evangelist Elmer Magnussen. In the Dominican Republic, they started an outreach ministry using dentistry to share the love of Jesus Christ, and a new church was born in the community of Los Girasoles, located on the north side of Santo Domingo. Dr. Brazeau served as an elder at Memorial Bible Church (MBC) in Yakima for many years. The Brazeaus accompanied two MBC mission trips to Mexico and, in 2000 and 2001, worked with Haiti Medical Team’s outreach to the Dominican Republic. He also enthusiastically volunteered at the Union Gospel Mission Dental Clinic in Yakima.
Mrs. Brazeau had felt called to missions as a child, but her husband was a busy young dentist with no similar interest – until he saw a newspaper article about an organization called Healing the Children that was seeking foster parents to house and care for youngsters from underserved countries needing heart surgery. The Brazeaus signed up and, in 1988, 9-year-old Zoraida arrived from the Dominican Republic. When she limped off the plane, they could see how close she was to death from cardiac insufficiency, as she was born with only half a heart. Seattle heart surgeon Edward Rittenhouse performed a heroic surgery and many other life-saving procedures. Zoraida was near death three times. Thanks to God and Dr. Rittenhouse, she survived those events. Through the experience, God touched Dr. Brazeau’s heart and called him to missionary service.
Every year since 2002, the Brazeaus led MBC teams to the Dominican Republic, with the primary purpose of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor Jesus Cordova, Allen and Elaine Miller, Ken Howie, Kaye Zook, Dee Powell, Goldie Hoffman, daughter Sara, son Steve and his wife, Laura, Cheri Alexander and many others were integral to this ministry. In the Dominican Republic, their partner ministers are Roberto and Idania Polanco and Dr. Bienvenido Yeme. They embraced Dr. Brazeau as a brother and father, and he responded in kind.
Dr. Brazeau enjoyed tending his small orchard and vineyard, gourmet cooking, winemaking, salmon fishing in Puget Sound, smelt fishing at Kalaloch, ATV trips, hunting, camping, traveling to Scotland, Seattle sports teams, Disney parks and anything associated with his grandchildren.
Dr. Brazeau is survived by his wife, Janice; daughters Melissa (Jameson) Green and Sara (Douglas) Lorig; son Steve Jr. (Laura Eastman); grandchildren Mikaela (Zachary), Hailey, Evelyn, Arden, Nathan and Tess; mother Lila Freiboth Brazeau; a brother; and niece Amy. He was predeceased by his father, Ruben. (Dignity Memorial)
DR. WILLIAM P. “MITCH” HUNGATE, CLASS OF 1978
Dr. William P. “Mitch” Hungate died in an avalanche on Granite Mountain, Snoqualmie Pass, Wash., on April 13, 2013. He was 61. He practiced dentistry in Renton for 34 years and taught Prosthodontics at the University of Washington since 1979 as an affiliate faculty member.
Dr. Hungate was born on Nov. 25, 1951, in Ridgewood, NJ, and moved to the Pacific Northwest with his family in 1956. He graduated from Sammamish High School in 1970 and completed his undergraduate and dental school programs at the UW. He told stories of his seven summers in Alaska cooking for the cannery workers to earn his way through school. He passed the Dental Board Exam in June 1978 and completed an internship in the Navy in Norfolk, Va., where he served as a lieutenant DDS in the public health sector.
While practicing dentistry, Dr. Hungate continued his affiliation with the UW. An avid Husky fan, he never missed a season of football games. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Renton Rotary Club, serving as president in 1984 and receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.
Dr. Hungate excelled in full Ironman Triathlons. He won slots to the World Championship Ironman in Kona in 2006, 2007 and 2011. He also won admission to the World Championship Half Ironman in Clearwater, Fla., for two consecutive years and again in 2011 in Las Vegas.
Mountain climbing was his heart’s delight. It was a mutual love of the mountains that drew him and his wife, Marilynn, together some 17 years ago. He climbed many of the world’s greatest mountains, including Aconcagua, McKinley, Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Pico de Orizaba, the Matterhorn, Mount Blanc, Mount Whitney, Mount Assiniboine and the major peaks in Washington and Oregon. He climbed Mount Rainier more than a dozen times, including two one-day ascents by different routes. The North Cascades were his playground and he mentored people in the sport as he did with triathlons, dentistry and other fields that gave him joy.
Dr. Hungate is survived by his wife, Marilynn; sister, Cheryl Hungate; brother Robert B. Hungate Jr.; sister-in-law Sandra Neely Hungate; nephew Adam B. Hungate; niece Serenity Hungate (H. Allen) Shelby; grand-nephew Micah Burns; and grand-niece Chloe Burns. He is also survived by stepson Brody Rutter; stepdaughter Darcy (Bryan) Sera; and grandchildren Lucelia and Griffin Sera. (Seattle Times)