Dean Brazle Chesaw 4th of July Grand Marshal

Dean Brazle

Dean Brazle

‘Ranch’ bronc riding added to this year’s lineup

CHESAW – Dean Brazle, he’s a ‘Real live nephew of his Uncle Sam, Born on the Fourth of July” and he’s also Grand Marshal for this year’s 71st Annual Chesaw Fourth of July Rodeo.

The members of the Chesaw Rodeo Club said they take great pleasure in naming Brazle as this year’s Grand Marshal. This Yankee Doodle Dandy, as the George Cohan song goes, will celebrate his 87th Birthday on Thursday, July 4 as he serves as Grand Marshal.

Brazle grew up in the Loomis area and when he was in seventh grade the family packed up and moved to the ranch on Knob Hill near Chesaw. He graduated from Molson School in 1944 and in March, before his graduation, he joined the Navy. He served his “boot camp” time at Farragut Naval Training Base on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho.

During his 27 months of service to the nation, Brazle spent 19 months on Tinian Island in the 18th Naval Seabees. This his where they constructed and maintained airstrips for the refueling of bombers that were being used against Japan.

Brazle told the rodeo club that one of the highlights of his life was being chosen to participate in an Honor Flight with Inland Northwest Honor Flights to view all the war memorials in Washington, DC.

After returning to the Okanogan, he worked for 27 years for the Zosel Lumber Company. He met and married Gay Miller and they later bought back the original family farm on Knob Hill, where Brazle still resides. He and his wife loved the outdoors – fishing, hunting and gardening, along with the farming of grain and raising pigs and cows.

They had one son, Alvin. His son and wife have both passed on, leaving him with two grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

“Thank you Dean, for your service to our country, we are very proud of you,” said the Rodeo Club membership in making their selection, adding, “Happy birthday Dean.”

This year’s Fourth of July Rodeo events take place on Thursday and start at 10 a.m. with the small sports. The parade is at 12:30 p.m. and the rodeo follows at 1 p.m.

The rodeo features two forms of saddle bronc riding this year. Along with the regular saddle broncs, the rodeo has added ranch saddle broncs. Modern day rodeo traces its roots back to bronco riding and busting horses to the saddle. While similar to professional bronc riding, the difference between that and ranch bronc riding is that the cowboys ride using their everyday work saddle, rigged like they were going to go to work on the ranch that morning.

The rodeo also features bareback and cow riding, as well as barrel racing and the Men’s Wild Cow milking. For the kids there’s the Kid’s Calf Scramble.

The night before the rodeo, on Wednesday, July 3, there will be the Country Western Dance with music by Powder River. The dance is for families and people of all ages and starts at 9 p.m. and goes to 1 a.m.

For more information on the dance or the rodeo call (509) 485-2204, (509) 485-3941 or (509) 485-3041. Pre registration for the parade can be done by calling (509) 485-2103.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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