Saturday, April 13, 2024

Daniel T. G. Broers

| September 17, 2021 7:00 AM

Daniel T. G. Broers was born in Den Haag, Netherlands, on Aug. 7, 1956. He went to be with Jesus on Sept. 7, 2021.

His parents, Wouter Broers and Charlotte Broers, immigrated to the United States in 1958. Dan was the oldest of five brothers. They lived for a while in Pennsylvania before moving to sunny California. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school. He worked on the flight crew in Alameda, Calif., for most of his time in uniform.

Dan was a natural born mechanic. Although he worked for GE for almost 10 years in their warehouse, he was always working on motorcycles, cars and trucks. After being laid off at GE, Dan attended a community college school for mechanics. He was offered a job as a mechanic before finishing the class.

He worked a few different places after the first job, then ended up working at a job where they did warranty work on transit buses. Dan said that most of the crew he worked with couldn’t get the buses to move due to all the safety features, but he could. So he ended up getting transit buses to work on.

He said that, at that time, he knew that fixing transit buses was what he loved to do. He applied to work for Santa Clara County Transit in San Jose, Calif., in 1989 (it’s now known as VTA), and was hired in 1990. Dan worked there until his retirement in 2016. He really did love working on transit buses. The more complicated the problem, the better he liked the job. He got so happy when a lot of other mechanics had struck out on a problem and gave the bus to him. Fixing those types of problems made his day.

Dan was a helpful coworker and had many friends on the job. He was never too busy to put down the tools for the bus he was working on to help a colleague.

Not long into his employment with VTA, Dan met his soon to be wife. Dan and Cathleen (Katt) got married in 1995. Dan and Katt have two sons, Daniel and Grant. Dan’s sons were his pride and joy. He was so happy to be a father. He was always so proud of his sons.

Dan also loved motorcycles and motorcycle riding. When Katt met Dan, the first date was a motorcycle ride. She hadn’t ridden a motorcycle in almost 20 years and Dan took her on one of the twistiest roads in the area.

After the ride he asked her how she liked it. She replied that she would let him know once she found her stomach again.

He was so surprised and a little shocked that she had not complained at all during the ride or even told him she had not been on a motorcycle for all that time. Motorcycles were such a part of his life; he thought that everyone felt the same. Katt loved riding with Dan. They went on rides everywhere in California, and he showed her so many beautiful areas.

Sometimes they rode with friends, but rode together by themselves more often. Since they worked for the same company, they often commuted on his motorcycle.

Dan was not a prejudiced motorcycle owner. He owned a BMW, Honda Gold Wing, Suzuki, an Aprilia scooter, Harley Davidson and a CSC made in China. If it had wheels and it ran, it was a good motorcycle. His favorite was his 1992 Electra Glide Sport and then his 1975 Suzuki 750.

In 2007, Dan and Katt rode scooters from their home in California to visit her parents in Libby. He had bought her a Honda Helix that had been turned into a trike and he rode his Aprilia scooter. It was a wonderful adventure for both of them.

Some years before he retired, he also started bicycling for his health. He took to that with a vengeance. He would often commute to work on his bicycle and ride on the weekends. He loved to ride his bike in Montana, with so much less traffic and much better scenery.

Dan was a fix-it man. He loved to tinker and could repair most anything. When he was tinkering and fixing, he was happy. Aside from loving to travel and searching out all the backroads he could find, he would repair things — everything. God had blessed him with a mechanical mind and the capability to do such things. And yet, many times Dan would say he had a problem he was struggling with, but would wake in the morning and have the answer. He always gave God the credit for those. He would say God gave him a helping hand.

Dan and Katt retired in 2016 and moved to Libby. He was a little hesitant about moving to Libby at first, but she had always told him that when she retired she was going back home. Not long after they moved here, he told her that Libby was home, that he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Although Dan did not get to live in Libby long before his passing, he made many friends, and he loved this little town.

Dan loved life and he loved Jesus. He told his family that whatever happened, he was ready to be with Jesus. He had a wonderful booming laugh, and a beautiful smile. He lived life to the fullest with unending energy. And his brother Jerome wanted everyone to know he was an awesome big brother.

He was loved deeply and will be deeply missed.

Dan is survived by his wife, Katt; sons, Daniel and Grant Broers; brothers, Charlie Broers, Jerome Broers, Edward Broers and Lodewijk Broers; sisters-in-law, Carol Thompson, Crystal Nixon and Stephanie Broers; brothers-in-law, Worth Nixon and Roy Thompson; nephews, Jerome Broers, Ronald Broers, Theodor Broers, Edward Broers Jr. and Daniel Thompson; nieces, Michaela Thompson, Klarissa Broers, Zoie Bunker and Kocopelli Broers; and many friends and relatives in California. He will be greatly missed by his good friends, Frank and Connie Palladini, Joe and Kara, Bill and Barbara Black and all his surrogate sons: Timmy, Alex, Saul and Osvaldo.

Services will be at 2 p.m., Sept. 25 at the Libby Christian Church.

Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at