Joe Brenneman, Former Flathead County Commissioner, Dies

Brenneman, a firefighter and farmer in Creston, was 60

By Beacon Staff
Joe Brenneman, pictured at his dairy farm east of Kalispell on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Nov. 9 marked the first day in nearly 50 years the Brenneman's stopped milking cows. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Former Flathead County Commissioner and Creston farmer Joe Brenneman died on Sunday in Kalispell.

Brenneman, who was 60, died at the Health Center Northwest on June 10.

Brenneman was elected to the Flathead County Commission in a 2004 vote that was so close it garnered a recount, which Brenneman won.

He served on the commission for six years as the only Democrat, and worked toward planning the burgeoning growth in the Flathead Valley. Brenneman lost his re-election bid in 2010 to Pam Holmquist, a Republican who still sits on the commission.

Brenneman was also a fourth-generation resident and dairy farmer; the Brenneman dairy farm operated in the valley for 50 years before it shut down in 2013.

He was a longtime firefighter and EMT with the Creston Rural Fire Department, and also worked five years as a ski patroller on Blacktail Mountain in Lakeside.

Brenneman also wrote columns for the Flathead Beacon.

Memorial services are pending, according to Darlington Cremation and Burial Service.

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