Brandi Lynn Katke, also known as “Goofy” or “Penelope” to many, age 54, passed away peacefully on January 10, 2022, with her children by her side. She was born on September 22, 1967, to John and Fern (Cutler) Garvey.
Brandi grew up in Vallejo, California. When she was in seventh grade, her family moved back to Minnesota, and she met some of her best friends. In high school, Brandi was given the nickname “Elbows” on the basketball team due to the fact when she got a rebound, the players around her would get hit by her pointy elbow.
Brandi had a lifelong love for horses and dogs. She helped her mother raise and show Saint Bernards, including one named Hercules, who was a descendent from the Saint Bernard in the movie Beethoven.
Brandi was an exceptional older sister who loved her little brother, Shawn, so much that he was allowed to go with her to parties. Shawn and Brandi were very competitive, however, when it came to chess, a game they played throughout their whole lives, which got intense every time they played.
After graduating from Ogilvie High School in 1985, Brandi worked at Gorecki Manufacturing with her mother. She later worked at SRW Products and then as a receptionist for a driver’s education company before she landed her favorite jobs at Milaca Public Schools. She started in the ECFE building and then moved to the Milaca Elementary building where she oversaw Kids Town. She eventually brought Wrap Around Care under her wing, as well. Brandi had a talent and a love for making sure every student who walked into her care felt like they were her own child.
Brandi and Randy Katke were introduced at a party in 1988 by their dear friend Melanie Hjort. They began dating officially in January of 1989 because Randy was never one to rush anything; he loved to sit back and enjoy the present. So much so, in fact, that it took him six and a half years to ask Brandi to marry him. On June 10, 1995, Brandi married her soul mate. Brandi and Randy decided to be married by two priests, so that their marriage would receive a double blessing. They spent their honeymoon in Montana where they had an exciting run-in with a moose. When Brandi called her mom to share the story, she did not believe Brandi at first. Brandi and Randy loved to go dancing, play softball and volleyball, and enjoy the outdoors, but most of all they loved to spend time with their family and friends.
In December of 1996, Brandi and Randy had their first daughter, Zoey Marie. Two years later, they had another wonderful daughter, Kalysta Mary. Brandi was an incredible mother who supported her daughters above everything else. Brandi made sure to attend as many of her daughters’ events as possible. At their sporting events, Brandi could be heard in the stands. She had a special connection with her daughters, and they were able to have conversations with facial expressions, body movement, or lip reading, especially during the girls’ sporting events. Brandi gained a son-in-law in August of 2021 when her daughter, Zoey, married Crosby Sothman. The love that she had for her daughters and son was incomparable; they will never forget it.
Brandi became a troop leader when her daughters got involved with Girl Scouts, and she eventually became the coordinator of Milaca Girl Scouts, a position she held for over ten years. She went above and beyond for her girls to have the best experiences as they grew into young women. Brandi made sure she was always there, not only for her daughters, but for everyone around her, including her nieces and nephews. She was known for making them scrapbooks to commemorate their high school graduation and helping organize bridal and baby showers.
Brandi enjoyed reading books, watching movies and eating popcorn, going to plays and musicals, and bringing the wine to family events. She had fun hanging out with the mud brothers and joining field races at Shorty’s. She even participated in two demolition derbies, and Shorty helped her prepare for them. In the first round she placed 2nd, and in the second round she placed 1st. Brandi had a talent for being crafty and enjoyed scrapbooking with her friends, even though she spent the first few years just sorting pictures, because they would laugh the nights away.
Camping was an activity that Brandi enjoyed sharing with her family, and those she considered family (DeBoer's, Christiansen's, Roelef's, Hanson's, and a few more), on yearly trips. During these camping trips, she played games, read books, and enjoyed the lakeview while soaking up the sun. Brandi always looked forward to drinking Pete’s special margaritas and sharing many laughs with everyone. The Katke family and the Hanson family had a tradition of pulling pranks on each other while camping together. One time, as Brandi’s family was getting ready to leave, the Hanson family, and a few others, completely saran wrapped her minivan, and Brandi couldn’t help but laugh.
Brandi was a woman with a kind heart and a sprinkle of sass. Brandi never gave up on her people and provided them with as much support as she possibly could. She excelled in the simple act of showing how much she cared and loved those around her. She had a heart of gold. She would have done anything for anyone who needed her help, and often stood up for people who were too afraid to do it for themselves. Brandi was a one-of-a-kind person.
Brandi Katke is survived by her children, Zoey (Crosby) Sothman and Kalysta Katke; brother, Shawn (Cynthia) Garvey; brothers- and sisters-in-law, John (Joyce) Katke, Cynthia (David) Zidar, and Christina Katke; nieces and nephews, Nicole (Christopher) Wourms, Kelsey Katke (fiance - Josef), Matthew Zidar (girlfriend - Sabrina), Joshua Zidar, Jennifer Zidar, Hannah Rogers, and Sarah Garvey; and her great nieces and nephew, Mazi Zidar, and Quinn and Lucas Wourms.
Brandi was preceded in death by her husband, Randy Katke; parents, Fern and John “Red” Garvey; mother-in-law, Marion Katke, and father-in-law, Roland Katke.
The Celebration of Life will be held on January 28, 2022, at the Johnson’s Shop (15933 70th Ave. Milaca, MN 56353) and will begin at 3pm. Make sure to wear tie-dye and/or bright colors. Also, please keep in mind that COVID is real. If you are sick or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID at the time of the ceremony, please do not attend and instead, show your support in other ways. We all know that we are living in a pandemic, and Brandi would want to celebrate safely to keep everyone happy and healthy.
A burial ceremony will be held during the summer at a date and time to be determined.