May 5, 1924 – September 14, 2021
B.G. (Brek) Brekken, 97, co-founder of Skyline Displays, passed away peacefully on September 14, 2021. Brek was one of the three founders of Skyline Displays and started his own business, Professional Displays. He inspired many in the tradeshow industry and positively influenced thousands of people’s lives. He valued his family and friends and expressed his gratitude for a wonderful life. Burdette and his twin brother, Burdell, were born on May 5, 1924, the sons of John and Christine (Dyvig) Brekken. In his early years, he grew up in Randall, Iowa. As a WWII veteran, Brek enlisted in the Army Signal Corps after Pearl Harbor. After the war, he graduated from St. Olaf College where he shortly thereafter married Ethelyn (Lynn) Engebretson in 1948. Together they raised two daughters named Linda and Jill and moved to San Marino in 1960. In 1995, Lynn passed away. Brek greatly valued his family and friends and quality time spent with loved ones.
Brek was passionate about golf and played all over the world. Not only was he a passionate golfer, but he was a passionate and influential salesman and manager. After he served in WWII, he started traveling in his car selling aluminum pots and pans. With his passion and leveraging his sales skills, he co-founded Skyline Displays and started his own business, Professional Displays. His daughter Jill was a Skyline distributor in Santa Clara, California. He influenced many in the tradeshow exhibit industry and helped inspire many salespeople he managed. He retired in 1994 and married Barbara Cole in 1999. Brek and Barbara traveled much and enjoyed 22 years in a loving and caring relationship. He always maintained a positive attitude and had a smile and a joke for everyone.
He was a member of the San Gabriel Country Club and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He lived a full 97 years of life and lived every day like it was his last. He touched many lives and has influenced so many within the tradeshow industry. Dick Wheeler, president of ProExhibits and one of the original distributors for the Professional Displays product line states, “Brek was an inspiring individual with a kind heart. He is such an inspiration to so many of us who got started in the business because of the opportunities he created for our industry. Back in 1987, I started working for Jill, Brek’s daughter who owned a Skyline distributorship, and shortly thereafter we purchased a Professional Displays distributorship. The rest is history. Brek will be greatly missed and his legacy will live on for generations to come.”
A celebration of his life was held on October 1 in Pasadena, California.