Bradley J. Burgum, 58, Casselton, ND, died suddenly on February 14, 2010, surrounded by his wife, Julie and immediate members of his family.
Bradley Burgum was born January 3, 1952 in Fargo, ND, to Joseph and Katherine Kilbourne Burgum. He grew up in Arthur, ND, where he spent summers working for the family agricultural business, learning the lessons of hard work, integrity, and honesty that would serve him the rest of his life.
In 1970, Bradley graduated from Dakota High School. He attended North Dakota State University, Fargo, where he was treasurer of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, the first of many times he was entrusted with managing the finances for organizations. At NDSU he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business economics and became a lifelong enthusiastic Bison fan. He then earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where he served as business manager of The North Dakota Law Review.
It was at NDSU where Bradley met his wife and best friend of more than 35 years, Julie Opp. After dating throughout college, Julie and Brad were married on July 31, 1976 in Streeter, ND, at St. Lukes Lutheran Church.
The couple then made their home in Casselton, ND where Bradley joined the Woell Law Office LP in 1977, later becoming the Burgum Law Firm, and began a long career as an attorney and CPA. Brad and Julies life in the community where they chose to raise their family became so much more than simply living somewhere; their life in Casselton became the very definition of what it means to be part of a community.
Brads dedication to public service began when he helped create the Casselton Ambulance Service in 1978. He was a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician for over thirty years, going on countless ambulance runs day or night, calmly helping neighbors and strangers in times of crisis. His long commitment to volunteerism and public service included helping found the Central Cass Dollars for Scholars program and serving as City Attorney of Casselton since 1978.
Brad was also a trusted business, legal, tax and personal advisor to many in the area. His humility and self-effacing humor made him an approachable, dependable, trusted confidant and friend. His reputation for integrity, honesty, and reliability extended far outside the Casselton city limits.
He was respected throughout the region as a tireless supporter of not only athletics and the arts at his alma mater, NDSU, but also for the involvement he and Julie had with other non-profits, such as the FM Symphony and Plains Art Museum. Bradleys philanthropic efforts mirrored his broad involvement in the community; where his tireless actions produced results not headlines. Many of his donations to a wide variety of charitable causes throughout the region were made anonymously.
His long list of service includes the Casselton Business Association, Casselton Job Development Authority, Cass County Township Officers Association, and Red River Valley Estate Planning Council.
He served from 1979 to the present as Board Member for The Arthur Companies, and was later elected as Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer. He was also a founding investor in 2007, and a Member of the Board of Directors of Arthur Ventures.
He invested in and served on the Board of Great Plains Software from 1984 through 2001, where he helped guide the company through its fledging growth years up through its successful four years as a public company culminating in its acquisition by Microsoft.
He was presently also the Treasurer for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity House Corporation, a position he has held for more than 30 years, and Treasurer for the Pelican Lake Sailing School and Yacht Club.
Brad will also be missed by his Pelican Lake friends, neighbors and relatives. It was at Pelican Lake where he taught his sons, Benjamin and James, how to sail and water-ski, and where he was known as the consummate host, providing just the right wine, and ribs grilled to perfection on the Big Green Egg.
Brads loves and interests were many, but none as important as his family, where his steadfast love and support, wise counsel, and unwavering devotion remain his greatest legacy.
Bradley is survived by his wife, Julie (Opp) Burgum of Casselton; his two sons, James Burgum (Abigail) of Fargo and Benjamin Burgum (Katie) and grandchildren Parks and Grant Burgum of Chanhassen, MN. He is also survived by his sister, Barbara Burgum of Deephaven, MN and brother, Douglas Burgum of Fargo, ND; his father and mother-in-law, Reinhold and Esther Opp, Napoleon, ND; his brother-in-law, Galen (Barb) Opp, Napoleon, ND, and sister-in-law, Pamelyn (John) Galegher, Thompson, ND. Other relatives include his eight nieces and nephews, Joseph, Jessamine, and Thomas Burgum; Andrew, Jenna, and Shannon Galegher; Lance (Heather) Sherman and Shane Sherman, and numerous cousins. Bradley was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Katherine Kilbourne Burgum.
Bradley was incredibly giving of his time and talents. His last gift was one of the greatest of all, as he and his family chose to give the gift of life to others in fulfilling his wishes to be an organ donor. Four families received the ultimate Valentines Day gift with the phone call that a stranger had answered their prayers for life-saving transplants.
Visitation is from 5-7:30 pm on Friday night at Martins Lutheran with prayer service to follow.
Funeral services will be held Saturday the 20th of February at 11:00am at Martins Lutheran Church in Casselton, ND. Overflow will be at St. Leos Catholic Church where the service will be broadcast live from Martins Lutheran.
Interment at the Casselton Cemetery and reception at the Spirit of Life Center at St Leos in Casselton will immediately follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Casselton Ambulance Service, Central Cass Dollars for Scholars, and Bradley J. Burgum Scholarship Fund at the NDSU Development Foundation.
February 19, 2010