Dee Breilein passed away Aug. 16, 2018 at Island Hospital in Anacortes after a hard-fought battle with cancer. She was born on March 8, 1942 in Riverside, Calif. to Helen and Charles Sans. Dee graduated from Whittier High School in 1958, and at the same time received her certificate in cosmetology.
In 1969, Dee married the love of her life, Jon Breilein, and they began raising their combined family of five children. The family moved to Oak Harbor in 1975 when Jon was transferred by GTE. Dee studied accounting at Skagit Valley College and began working at Berg Ford, prior to becoming Office Manager at Wallgren’s Les Schwab Tire Centers where she retired after 30 years. During this time Jon and Dee also owned Island H2O Systems.
Dee’s passions included bowling, owning race horses and all kinds of crafts, such as sewing, knitting, photography and even cake decorating. She was very active in community service organizations and was a member of the Soroptomists for many years. She enthusiastically supported Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys and Girls Club.
Dee was often heard to say that she was “very blessed” to have such a loving and close-knit family. But she was also “Mom” to a multitude of her children’s friends as well as her friends’ children — in her words “everyone was family.” Christmas was Dee’s favorite time of year. She especially enjoyed sponsoring and decorating Christmas trees for the annual Festival of Trees Gala and Auction, benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters. Stuffing stockings for her kids and grandkids was one of her greatest joys.
Dee is preceded in death by her husband Jon Walter; sister Doris Sandoval; and sons David Patrick and Gregory Dale. She is survived by her brother Jack Sans; children Kathryn Hopkins (Harold), Jon Breilein, Christine Johnson (Kevin) and Jeffrey Breilein (Kimberley). She also leaves seven grandchildren – Casey, Michael, Cody, Alicia, Colby, Dallas and Gregory – and two great-grandchildren – Rivers and Marlowe.
A gathering of family and friends for a celebration of Dee’s life will be held at Wallin Funeral Home in Oak Harbor on Sat., Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, friends might contribute to Big Brothers Big Sisters or Boys and Girls Club in Dee’s name.