Otto Brodie in his Farman  
Blanche & Otto Brodie - 1910
via email from Shelley Brodie, 5-27-04
     Hello my name is Shelley Brodie and I am the great granddaughter of Otto William Brodie.
     I have some information for you. Firstly I believe he was born in 1888. There is a date given on the pioneer aviators site and I think that's correct.
     My aunts visited the Smithsonian and retrieved some information regarding him. His son Jim Brodie was a rather famous cowboy in Alberta. Information can be found on Jim Stapleton's The Lone Star Story website.
     Otto Brodie had 2 sons, Jim and Robert (my grandfather, now deceased). Otto was a jockey in his younger days, and also drove an ambulance. That's how he met his future wife, Blanche Gilfillan, who was a registered nurse at the time. After Otto's death in 1913 she remarried a Danish man, by the name of H.P. Christensen, and settled in Alberta Canada.
I hope this helps you out.
  Blanche & Otto Brodie  
Blanche & Otto Brodie - 1910
via email from Shelley Brodie, 5-27-04
     I would also like to say a little about Otto's wife, my Grandmother.
     Her name was Blanche Ione Gilfillan.
     She was born in Adam's Valley, Lacrosse County, Township of Burns, Wisconsin, on August 5, 1882.
     She took her Nurse's training and graduated from the Jefferson Park Hospital in Chicago. While nursing she met Otto who at that time drove a city ambulance. (There is a 1909 clipping on this ambulance and Otto in the scrapbook with the headline, "World's Record Set By City Ambulance" . . . White Steamer operated by the health department travels 36,821 miles during the year it has been in service . . .etc.)
     Otto and Blanche married in 1909. They had two sons, James Haughton, who was born July 31, 1910, and Robert William, who was born June 6, 1912.
     After Otto's death, Blanche with her two little boys moved to Jenner, Alberta, Canada, as her Father had moved up there to homestead on a farm. While living in Jenner she met and married Peter Christensen. They had five children.
     She never nursed in a hospital again but she used her nursing experience to help many people in the area.
     I can tell you that she was one fine and special lady.
     She passed away December 20, 1960, in Brooks Alberta LS
  "Rising in and falling from balloons is not the most romantic part of Mr. Brodie's adventerous career.
While driving the city ambulance to take a child stricken with scarlet fever to a hospital he became acquainted with a trained nurse.
Her beauty appealed to him and his thoughtful driving and gentle aid in caring for the child appealed to her.
Cupid appealed to both of them, and the minister decided the case in a matrimonial session.
(quoted from part of a large newspaper clipping, 1909)

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