Cover photo for Evelyn "Evie" Esther Bredeson's Obituary
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Evelyn "Evie" Esther Bredeson

August 23, 1942 — April 26, 2024


Evelyn "Evie" Esther Bredeson

Evelyn Esther Bredeson (Evie) passed away in Spokane, Washington the morning of April 26, 2024 with her husband John by her side.  Beloved wife and mother, lover of family and horses, and advocate for the disadvantaged among us.


Evie was born August 23rd, 1942, on her family’s homestead, a wheat farm in Slope County, North Dakota.  She leaves behind a legacy of love and dedication to her large and extended family, her Lutheran church parishes, multiple equestrian communities, and particularly to the people she served in her contribution to equestrian-assisted therapy. 


As a young girl, growing up surrounded by the rugged beauty of southwest North Dakota, Evie’s spirit was shaped by a sense of the frontier. It was here that Evie's heart took hold of an enduring love —some might call a kinship—with horses. As a girl, she waged a campaign to convince her father to trade the family's milk cow for the graceful form and untamed spirit of a horse. Although unsuccessful in this effort, she kept many horses throughout her life. 

Those early years on the North Dakota homestead were a touchstone for Evie. She adored the open expanses and majesty of the buttes, rarely missing an annual summer visit to “The Farm” throughout her life. 


At 12 years old, her family moved to Washington State, settling in Tacoma.  She attended Lincoln High School where she was active in the school newspaper. It was here where she met her true-love, high school sweetheart, and devoted husband of 62 years, John Bredeson.  


Evie and John had three children. As a devoted mother and wife, she fervently championed her children’s interests, activities, and education – opportunities she didn’t have as a young person.  The Bredeson family moved from Tacoma through Whatcom County and finally settled in Arlington, Washington.  Several horses were added to the immediate family over the course of those years.  She and her family were active members of Peace Lutheran Church in Silvana, Washington.


Evie was a gifted writer and artist and produced many oil paintings and sketches of wildlife, horses and landscapes.  While raising the three kids, never one to be idle, Evie commuted and earned a college degree from Western Washington University. Evie had a heart for those with less privileges in life, especially young people. Not surprisingly, her degree was in Social Work and Human Services.   


Evie parlayed her love for horses and heart of service for the less privileged into her most proud accomplishment.   She co-founded EquiFriends, a Snohomish County-based therapeutic horse-riding non-profit.   Equine-assisted therapy was relatively new when EquiFriends was founded, and Evie worked exuberantly for over two decades, as the heart and soul of this organization.  Countless lives were changed and brought joy over the years.   EquiFriends went beyond support for young people with physical developmental and impairment issues, expanding to neurodivergent children and “at-risk” youth from challenging home lives.  At the time, these were new client categories in Equine-assisted therapy. 


In 2010, Evie and John retired from Arlington to Deer Park, Washington to be near to their treasured grandchildren.  Evie was an active member of Zion Lutheran church in Deer Park and she enjoyed her final years watching her grandchildren grow up.   It was in the lives of her grandchildren that she discovered fulfillment in retirement.  Spending countless hours with them, she imparted the strong values of family and service, leaving an indelible mark on their young lives. Evie continued to be an active member of the local equestrian community with frequent trail riding trips with friends and family across the Western States, never relinquishing the reins of her horses.


Evie’s life was one of devotion and love and service. She was preceded to heaven by her Mom and Dad, Alice and Lawrence Briske, and her beloved older sister Carol Joyce Kiniry. She is survived by her loving husband, John, her three children John Jr., (Darren), Teri (Larry), Darren (Lori), her grandchildren Braxton (Sidney), Devon (Madison), and Danni. Also, by her sister Elaine, her brothers Dwight, Gary and David and their spouses, and countless cousins, nephews, and nieces. Notably, she is also survived by her GREAT grand-daughters Kaia Lynn and Blakely Evelyn ….. and by her horse, Jess. 


A Celebration of Evie’s life will be held at 1pm on Saturday, September 7 at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 1710 85th St E, Tacoma, WA 98445.  (A local service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Deer Park, WA on June 15 at 12 pm for those in the Spokane area).  


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation gift to Free Rein Therapeutic Riding.


To order memorial trees in memory of Evelyn "Evie" Esther Bredeson, please visit our tree store.


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