In Loving Memory of Nathan Brand ’59
Madison – On April 14, 2019, Nathan F. Brand passed away quietly, surrounded by the love of his family after bravely battling cancer for nine months. He asked us to thank the many family members and friends whose messages and visits were so important to him as he dealt with his illness. Nate especially wanted to thank his son, Nate; his daughter, Dorothea; and his long-time partner, Regina for their loving support.
Nate was born on October 24, 1935. Raised in Green County, he lived with his parents above a cheese factory and attended a one-room schoolhouse until 1945, when his family moved to the city of Monroe. In Monroe, he earned money for college mowing lawns and delivering papers. Nate attended UW Madison and graduated from Ripon College in 1959. In 1960, he and his wife, Dora Schindler Brand, moved to Madison where they raised their family and he built his businesses.
The most important thing in Nate’s life was his family – immediate and extended. His love of family and of his Swiss heritage was the impetus for many, many trips to Switzerland. Each child and grandchild had a chance to travel with Nate to meet their Swiss relatives and many Swiss friends. These trips provided the grandchildren with an understanding of their own Swiss heritage. Better still, they gained an understanding of Grandpa Nate. Switzerland wasn’t Grandpa’s only treat for them – closer to home were the Bucks, Brewers, Packers, and of course, the Badgers.
Badger football, hockey, volleyball, but especially Badger basketball – Nate was a devoted fan. His tickets for basketball and football span more than 50 years, so obviously not a “fair-weather fan.” Nate’s commitment to UW Madison and the Badgers wasn’t limited to sports. It carried over to academics with generous support of student scholarships.
Although Nate is remembered for a variety of business and real estate interests, most important to him was that his financial knowledge and attention to detail provided security for his many employees and helped create success for his business and investment partners. Just as family was important, so were his business partners. Fred Mohs and Nate have a partnership that spans almost 60 years and is based only on a handshake. Partners John Petersen and John Tye shared office space with Nate for more than 30 years.
In the past two decades, Nate has given generously to the Madison community. Not surprisingly, his pattern of generosity tracks his approach to family and business – thoughtful, pragmatic and targeted to young persons. Examples include the Overture’s Endowment Fund, Madison Children’s Museum, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and UW Madison athletic scholarships. However, Nate’s primary interest has been to Rotary Club of Madison’s scholarship fund. He was the first living donor to that fund and his “first” set a trend that others have followed. Over the past 15 years, many young persons have received generous four-year scholarships.
Nate was preceded in death by his father Franz Brand; his mother, Catharina Baumann Brand; his brother, Franz W. Brand; and his nephew, John Schindler Brand.
Nate is survived by Regina Millner, who has been a loving partner for 20 years; son, Nathan Schindler Brand (Ana Brand, Josie and Dottie); daughter, Dorothea Brand Kennedy (Robert Kennedy, Elena, Peter and Neeve); daughter, Barbara; sister, Edith Smith Leuenberger; and many nieces and nephews. Nate is also survived by wife Dora Schindler Brand. Dora was a support to Nate and a dedicated mother and grandmother, particularly to daughter, Barbara.
The family would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Joshua Lang of the Carbone Cancer Center and caregivers, Edith and Ben Rama.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers please make donations to the Rotary Club of Madison Scholarship Fund or to a charity of your choice.
Visitation will be on April 26, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison. Funeral services will be at 11:30 a.m., on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Covenant Presbyterian Church 326 S. Segoe Rd., Madison. Nathan will be laid to rest at the Greenwood Cemetery in Monroe.