Bret is the grandson of a robust Swedish carpenter named Clarence and his equally Swedish wife Ethel, a gentle St. Paul girl. They left urban life for Park Rapids during the Depression so they could have space to raise food and family.
Bret is also the grandson of a German farmer, Edwin, who had a warm laugh and lifelong battle against quack grass in Wilkin and Crow Wing and Aitkin counties, and his Yankee wife Ruby, clever and capable of doing the things that needed to be done, whether shepherding a 4-H project or driving a team of oxen for the Centennial parade.
His parents, who met at Bemidji State Teacher’s College, are both educators, folks who have a passion and curiosity about life. He grew up in a house filled with words and music and laughter, and loves to figure stuff out.