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Lives Lived

Dee Brehm

Summer 2022
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Dolores “Dee” Soderquist Brehm died April 3, 2022, at age 91. Born in Cadillac, Michigan, Brehm moved with her family to Ypsilanti during World War II. She attended high school in Ypsilanti and went on to earn a degree in special education from Eastern Michigan University, where she met her future husband, Bill Brehm, who was a student at U-M.

Brehm worked as a special education teacher. Later in life, she established a scholarship for students seeking special education degrees at EMU, which awarded her an honorary Doctor of Education degree in 2013.

At age 19, Brehm was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Despite her diagnosis, she went on to have two children and live a long, full life. She taught groups about French cooking and was known for exquisite dinner parties. There are only about 500 people in the U.S. who are known to have survived type 1 diabetes for as long as she did.

In hopes of finding a cure for diabetes, Dee and Bill Brehm established the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research at U-M in 2004. The Brehm Center’s mission is to integrate U-M’s strength in diabetes research with its robust information technology infrastructure to accelerate the search for prevention and reversal of all form of diabetes and its complications.

This obituary is based on one published in the Ann Arbor News and on information on the Brehm Center website.