Richard Brolsma Dies; Services to be Friday

Richard William Brolsma

Richard William Brolsma, Sitka fisherman, passed away peacefully on August 17,  2023, with his girls by his side, in Minnesota. He was 63.

After being given two weeks to live in 2022, Rick fought hard, showed his strength, and defied the odds for the next 13.5 months, before losing his battle to cancer in Minnesota.

Rick was born on July 17, 1960, to Richard and Shirley (Schnittger) Brolsma in Estherville, Iowa. He received his formal education in the Sherburn, Minnesota, school district, later graduating with his favorite class of 1979. There he was the captain of the football and wrestling teams. He not only excelled at sports but was Miss Murphy’s favorite choir student (so we’re told) and had the band skills of a professional drummer.

 After high school he went on numerous adventures with many friends in several different states. Those adventures/stories shall remain to be left with just Rick and his friends.

After Rick decided to settle down, he met his former wife Tracy Culver in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. To continue his adventures, he moved to northern Minnesota where he became the world’s best dad to his three daughters.

Rick learned from all his different careers that he no longer wanted to be told what to do and wanted to be his own boss, finally making his hobby his way of life. His final adventure brought him to Sitka, where he bought a fishing boat and named it after his three daughters, the TarKaSar, and became a commercial fisherman.

Rick made Sitka his home for 21 years with his dog Maggie Mae by his side, sharing his stories with all who listened, earning the title “King Slayer” and meeting lifelong friends.

It was in his heart to share his Sitka home with family and friends, many of whom joined him on the TarKaSar receiving the “Rick tour guide experience.” His fishing legacy will continue with his three grandsons at his favorite fishing hole, Medvejie.

One of his many accomplishments in Alaska was being named the #1 hand troller in a single season in Southeast Alaska, meaning he caught the most fish out of any hand troll permit holder.

After receiving the devastating cancer diagnosis, Rick moved back to Minnesota to be with his three daughters and family. The year was filled with unforgettable memories, ice fishing trips, camping trips, eating everything at the state fair, and welcoming his newest grandson Evan into the world.

Another joy was having his three daughters, oldest grandchildren Easton and Leo, all together in his special place – his home, Sitka, Alaska.

He is survived by his mother Shirley Brolsma of Fairmont, Minn.; his three daughters, Tara (Philip) of Minneapolis, Kayla (Randy) of Eagan, Minn., and Sara (Joey) Osborn of Monticello, Minn.

He was the new, proud, loving, and the best grandfather to Easton Osborn, Leopold Osborn, and Evan Stevenson.

His sisters Jodi (Mark) Hawkins of Fairmont, Lisa (Jay) Hanson of Detroit Lakes, Minn.; brother Heath, (Danielle) Brolsma of Plymouth, Minn., and many nieces, nephews and friends and family also survive.

 Rick was preceded in death by his father Dick Brolsma, infant sister Susan Brolsma, grandparents William and Doria Schnittger and Jacob and Hattie Brolsma, and other relatives.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. Central Time on Friday, August 25, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sherburn, Minnesota, with burial in the Sherburn Cemetery in Sherburn.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m.  Thursday, August 24, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sherburn and one hour prior to the services at the church on Friday.

The  service will be live streamed  on St. John’s Lutheran Church facebook page or on youtube at

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July 2004 

Homes for sale: Stunning view, 4 bdrms., 3 baths, master suite,hardwood-laminate floors, new appliances $369,000; Three-level family home, apt. 3 bdrms., 2 kitchens, 13/4 baths, $232,000.


July 1974

    Lee Salisbury, speech and theater arts professor at the University of Alaska, will be drama instructor for grades 7-12 at the Regional Fine Arts Camp. The camp is sponsored by the Southeast Alaska Regional Arts Council and is held on the Sheldon Jackson College campus. Jim Hope is camp director.


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