The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Jeffrey Laurance Broom

March 28, 1946 – March 4, 2019


March 28, 2019

Jeffrey Laurence Broom passed away the evening of March 4, 2019 at Dayton General Hospital in Dayton, Washington. He was born March 28th, 1946 in Spokane, Washington, and grew up in Waitsburg with his father Larry, mother Roberta, and sister Joy. 

 Growing up in the 1950s, he loved cars and making model airplanes. He would often sit on his front porch and try to guess the make and model of cars driving along Coppei Avenue, based on the sound its engine. He was an avid reader of both Popular Science and Mad Magazines. In high school he played the guitar in a rock n roll band The Misfits (as well as a reformed Misfits group for two years in college). After graduating in Waitsburg High School Class of 1964, Jeff pursued engineering at WSU. Jeff enjoyed college life, and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

 After graduating from WSU with a five-year Bachelor's degree in engineering, Jeff started a career as an engineer at Bechtel Corporation. He worked in Wisconsin, Florida, New Jersey, and Ohio. In the mid-70s as he was migrating to management, Bechtel sent Jeff to graduate school to earn an MBA at the University of Toledo. While working in Sandusky, Ohio, he met his future wife Gayle, who already had a young son, Jude. Jeff and Gayle enjoyed activities ranging from each getting their pilots licenses, making wine and beer together, photography, skiing and camping.

 Their daughter Lauren was born in 1980 and soon after they moved to Richland, Washington, where Jeff worked at the Hanford site. Bechtel made Jeff a manager which eventually took him to new places for special projects – including Russia and Las Vegas. When Jeff retired in 2001 at age 55, he and Gayle returned to Waitsburg and purchased the family home.

 Jeff was very involved in the Waitsburg community. He had significant roles in the Waitsburg Historical Society, serving as President; the Waitsburg High School Alumni Association; and City Council. He belonged to Commercial Club; the Waitsburg Lions; and served on the Downtown Development Committee where he actively worked to procure funds for the Main Street Streetscape Project. He also served on the Walla Walla Community College Foundation Board and the Walla Walla United Way Board. Meanwhile Jeff has also been an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for the past 44 years.

 Jeff›s family remembers him above-all as fair, multi-talented, and funny -- always able to put anyone at ease. He loved music and cars, and kept detailed and meticulous records of all his projects. Whether collecting parts to make a robot, drawing up blueprints for home improvement projects, or collecting a database of 'those great lines from movies', he had a lot of ideas and ways to implement them. Jeff enriched the lives of those he knew -- made them think, made them laugh.

 Jeff was preceded in death by both his parents, Larry Broom, and Roberta Stonecipher Broom Adams. He is survived by his wife Gayle Barnes Broom, daughter Lauren Broom, her husband Otto Bjoertomt, and grandchildren Sten, Will, and Lars, of Boston, Mass., Jude Barnes, his wife Catherine and grandchildren Cameron and Connor of Vancouver, Wash., and his sister Joy and her family, Martinez, California.

 We would very much like to thank Doctor Kyle Terry and the staff at Booker Rest Home for their care.

 A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday May 26, from 1pm to 5pm at the Town Hall in Waitsburg, WA, 121 Main St, Waitsburg, WA 99361


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