Monday, March 27, 2023
1:00 PM EDT
Third Reformed Church
2060 Michigan Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Visitation and Reception
Monday, March 27, 2023
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
Watermark Country Club
1600 Gailbraith Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Naples Funeral Home
3107 Davis Blvd
Naples, FL 34104
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM EDT
8060 Grand Lely Drive
Naples, FL 34113
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
A devoted Christian, husband, father, grandfather, physician, and friend, Carl Patterson Brandt improved countless lives and proved a consummate role model for all who were blessed to know him. Embracing each day as a gift, Carl never hesitated to give of his time and talent in service of others. Whether providing for his family, tending to patients, giving to charity, or through his mission work, Carl's steadfast love and support always made a positive difference. Revered by many, Carl will long be remembered and so very missed.
The mobilization of war efforts in 1942 was quick and effective, with carmakers and other manufacturers changing to the production of weapons of war. Gas rationing, Scrap Days, and Victory Gardens became the norm. At the same time, the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and The Voice of America ensured that every citizen had their eyes focused on a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the hearts and home of late Irving "Doc" and Margaret Brandt as they welcomed their son, Carl, into their family on December 2.
The second of four children, Carl grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan. His father was a high-level accountant at General Motors and, later, for Ford Motor Company, whose skill for rectifying the books earned his nickname, "Doc." Carl's mother tended to the home and served as chairman of the Women's Republican Party in Royal Oak and the Women's League. Carl's sister Kathleen remembers Carl spitting on her best friend when he was only six years old, but that didn't stop her from loving him. She also confesses to hiding his favorite dump truck under a home remodel project foundation.
During his teen years, as a standout vocalist, Carl sang baritone, earning the high honor of attending Blue Lake Music Camp in Interlochen. He was also a varsity tennis player at Royal Oak Dondero High School, where he won several awards. After proudly graduating from Royal Oak Dondero High with the class of 1960, Carl pursued his dream of becoming a doctor at Hope College.
While at Hope, Carl was a member of Knickerbocker Fraternity, whose members were mostly premed students at the time. As he and a few of his fellow Knicks were dining at Kollen Hall one day, Carl found himself instantly drawn to a striking young woman as she entered the cafeteria. Following his heart, he approached and introduced himself to Jeanann Elgersma. In the midst of recovering from the flu, Jeanann's focus was on satiating her hunger. As Carl invited her to dinner, Jeanann's welcomed the idea of having a good meal.
It took no time at all for Jeanann to be dazzled by Carl's charm, clever jokes, and heart he was so willingly offering her. The couple fell in love and began planning their future together. After graduating from Hope College in 1964, Carl proposed, and the happy couple married on June 19, 1965, in the Troy Methodist Church.
After exchanging their vows, the newlyweds made their way to Leland, Michigan, where Carl fished for six days, and Jeannann realized she was in for the "long haul" when Carl dumped a smallmouth bass into the bathtub with her. Jeanann later told Carl, "Every day I thought you were going to take me to the airport and that Leland was really just the prelude."
Following their modest honeymoon, the couple settled into married life in a rental home in Ferndale, and Carl worked in the Microbiology Lab at St. Joseph Hospital. Three months later, they moved to Ann Arbor. While Jean supported them by teaching English and taking on extra responsibilities like directing the school play at Manchester High School, Carl attended the University of Michigan Medical School. An excellent student, Carl thrived in medicine. When he started his obstetrics and gynecology residency in 1969, he and Jeanann moved to Grand Rapids.
A year later, Carl and Jeanann purchased their first home on Woodlawn. There, they would soon become parents, eventually welcoming four children to their family. Martha, Chris, Joel, and Robert were the centers of their world, and Carl delighted in sharing parenthood with his beloved. Jeanann devoted herself to full-time motherhood, and after completing his four-year residency at Butterworth hospital in 1973, Carl officially joined the staff.
Carl opened his own practice, worked long hours, and chaired both the professional standards committee and the OB/GYN department from 1986-1990. Over his 30-year career, his peers revered him as a talented obstetrician and surgeon. He mentored and taught countless new OB/GYNs, and eventually practiced long enough to deliver the babies of babies he delivered. Well-known for his compassion and empathy, Dr. Brandt's patients had no doubts they were in expert hands. Having delivered over 7000 babies, hardly a week went by that he didn't run into a former patient where ever he went.
The Brandt home was an epicenter where all were welcome and treated as family. Carl's fiercely sarcastic wit and extremely strong work ethic proudly reverberate in his offspring to this day. He found great delight in irritating his children by mispronouncing "schnorkeling," "lazhure beams," and measuring things in "sonimeters." He also tortured many lives by always putting onions and celery in his tuna-fish sandwiches.
Carl often stated to the ones he loved, "with me, I can promise one thing, you will never be bored," and he was right! His passions for family, travel, golf, wine, blackjack, tennis, and fishing ensured a steady stream of good times. He loved being on the water trolling for salmon. He fished in Lake Michigan, at Drummond Island, on the ocean, and anywhere he thought fish might be hiding. According to Carl, while fishing for salmon, walleye, and steelhead, he caught over 10,000 salmon; at least that is what he told his children, and that was just on his last trip alone.
For much of their marriage, Carl and Jeanann enjoyed finding a house, remodeling it, and starting over again about every seven years. Together, they transformed nine houses in Grand Rapids, Holland, and Naples into beautiful homes. When Jeanann took up piano, Carl would often sing along to the songs she played. Sadly, on December 21, 2011, after nine years of gracefully living with a rare, untreatable cancer, Jeanann died in the arms of her family. Though comforted by the knowledge that Jeanann was no longer in chronic pain and decades of treasured memories, Carl missed his beautiful wife tremendously.
In time, Carl found love again in Naples, Florida, when mutual friends introduced him to Geri Schwab. Originally from Southold, New York, Geri had four grown children. Following a short courtship, the two decided to marry. When their children gathered in Florida the night before the ceremony, they formed a strong bond over the "Brady Bunch-like" circumstances they shared. Though a little weird, they all got along and were grateful to share their parents' happiness as they married in February 2013.
For over a decade, Carl and Geri lived in Naples, enjoying the sun, fine dining, and relaxing on the lanai. Carl loved fishing in the backwater of the "inner coastal" with his friends and family but was equally happy fishing in the lake behind his home. Carl also loved his Sudoku puzzles, battling alligators on the golf course, and sipping the finest wine a box has to offer.
Much to Jeanann's credit, Carl developed a love of travel. In his lifetime, he was blessed to travel with his loved ones all over the world, including Canadian vacations and epic trips to China and Europe. A medical trip to Albania proved especially memorable. He skied the Alps and explored nearly every Caribbean Island and the Greek Isles. He and Geri particularly enjoyed taking cruises and traveling to Geri's favorite place, North Fork, New York.
While Carl enjoyed the outdoors for many years, later in life, he enjoyed time inside as well. Equal parts formal and casual, Carl didn't always seek out conversations, though he was very capable and engaging. A voracious reader, he enjoyed mysteries, espionage, and thrillers. Sunday dinners at home, chocolate-covered peanuts, peanut M&Ms, his mother's peanut butter cookies, and Sister Sarah's jams were always welcome treats.
A true legend, Carl embodied the principles of his faith. He loved with all his heart and provided a safe harbor for others. Expertly balancing hard work and play, drive and calm, seriousness and humor, Carl was a steadfast companion who showed us how to live a full and happy life. As we share our many treasured memories and share the depths of our loss, may we find much comfort in the honor of carrying his honorable legacy forward. For in this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.
Carl Patterson Brandt died peacefully in the good company of his family on March 8th, 2023. Preceded in death by his first wife, Jeanann, and granddaughter Hannah; Carl is survived by his second wife, Geri Schwab Brandt; his children and grandchildren: Martha Brandt, children Spencer, Madison; Chris (Laura) Brandt, children Noah and Isaac; Joel (Sarah) Brandt, children Grace, Katherine, and Charles; and Robert (Gwen) Brandt, daughter Samantha. Carl's sisters Kathleen (Andy) Morrow, Sarah (Dan) Tracy, and Martha (Jeff) Pollock, and 15 nieces and nephews. Also survived by the children from his marriage to Geri: Scott Robelen, child Cass, Tammy Robelen, daughters Michelle and Samantha, G.L. (Allison) Schwab, children Quinn and Carrington, and Craig (Andrea) Schwab, children Riley and Griffin.
Two memorial services will be held:
March 27th – Grand Rapids Michigan
1:00 – Service at 3rd Reformed Church.
4:00-6:00 - Visitation and Reception at Watermark Country Club
April 11th – Naples Florida
3:00-5:00 – Service at Naples Funeral Home, Davis Blvd, Florida
5:30-7:30 – Reception - The Players Club, Lely