Michael G. Brandenburg

michael brandenburg
Michael George Brandenburg, 73, of Vienna, VA died peacefully at home on January 28, 2023.

Mike was born September 28, 1949 in Omaha, Nebraska to Clarence and Darlene (Ceder) Brandenburg and graduated from Archbishop Bergan Catholic High School in Fremont, Nebraska. He earned an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University where he was a member of the Theta Delta Chi Fraternity.

In 1971 Mike joined AT&T where he held various leadership positions during a long and satisfying career in telecommunications. That same year, he married his high school sweetheart, Janene Svoboda, and they enjoyed 52 years of married life together.

Besides his wife, Mike is survived by their daughter (Eva Brandenburg), his siblings (John Brandenburg, Mary Lukes and Julie McDowell) and a large extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews.

Mike enjoyed photography and international travel. His photographs of Europe, Africa and Asia document a life of curiosity and adventure.

He also leaves a rich legacy of commitment to family and friends. A gathering to remember Mike’s life and legacy will be held at the family home at a later date.

Memorial donations may be directed to the Iowa State University Foundation for the Brandenburg STEM Scholarship (www.foundation.iastate.edu) which supports the education of minority students.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Q: What will you never forget about Michael?

    A: Mike was an incredible uncle to his nieces and nephews. He purposed to spend time with each and would ask great open-ended questions to get them talking.

    Mike was a wonderful big-brother for his siblings and a caring and thoughtful son for his parents.

    I will never forget his leading our hikes during our family get togethers in Tennessee each year.

    Mike will be very much missed. Janene and Eva, we love you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Mike was one of the smartest, kindest, and most humble men I have ever known. I was also excited to see my Uncle Mike, he had such a unique understanding of the world. Much of my understanding of how to carry myself as a man was imparted from growing up around Mike.

    I miss you greatly.
    – Daniel

  3. To the Brandenburg family:

    I would like to express my condolences to the Brandenburg family. Mike was a colleague at AT&T in Dranesville and a well respected systems engineer in operations and security. He was a pleasure to work with and was a very caring and thoughtful friend. We missed Mike’s technical contributions to our program upon his retirement and I was always hoping he would be interested coming back to AT&T to work part-time. I am certain he will be missed now as he was then and we will always have fine memories of those times we shared.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Shawn Lukas

  4. Mike and Janene have been our next door neighbors for over 30 years. In two weeks time I lost Sandy and Janene lost Mike. So along with all the good memories we have of dinners at each other house, time at the beach, travel, and watching each other’s kids grow up we now share the sorrow of lost loved ones. It has been an enjoyable journey and I can only hope more is possible without our loved ones. Vinnie

  5. Q: How did you meet Michael?

    A: I met Mike as a Freshman at Iowa State in the Fall of 1971. We were both pledges at Theta Delta Chi Fraternity and starting our collegiate journey.

    I have always admired Mike for his thoughtfulness, courage and dry sense of humor. He really became a Brother to some of us lucky ones.

    Mike was a joyous and gregarious guy
    Who formed some deep connections that still continue.

    I was lucky to share vacation time, travel and celebrations with Mike and Janene that are special memories to this day. My wife Sharon and I even shared half of our Honeymoon with them. I’m sure Janene remembers the story of the sea urchin adventures.

    I am sadden and tearful with the thought of Mike leaving but confident that his heart is still open to share as always.
    Love you Mike !!!!!

  6. I have known Mike for 40+ years. Janene is my cousin. I got to know them by visiting whenever they came to Carlsbad. I thoroughly enjoyed those times and listening to Mike tell us about their travels and showing us his great pictures of where they had been. We would sit at the beach rental with other family and just talk/catch up for hours. Mike was a very kind, gentle soul. What an honor for Janene to have shared a life with this wonderful man for 52 years!

    My sincere condolences to Janene and Eva.

    Cindy Ferguson

  7. We are remembering and celebrating Mike’s wonderful life, that was very full, but shorter than anyone hoped it would be. We so enjoyed being Mike and Janene’s neighbors for over 30 years. He was devoted to Janene and a dedicated Dad to Eva. Whether it was rowdy card games in our fun groups for many years, enjoying steamed crabs or another favorite meal, or enjoying the beach, specially at the Outer Banks, he enjoyed life’s relaxed pleasures. Mike & Janene’s ongoing passion for international travel, seeing and learning about the world amazed us all. Dear Mike, we will miss you so much. We’ll look forward to more special times with Janene.
    Love and hugs,
    Karla, Bruce and Family

  8. I met Mike in 1978 when we were working at AT&T in Bedminster, NJ. I transferred to Washington in 1979 and Mike transferred in 1980. We became good friends and carpooled to AT&T’s new office building in Oakton for many years.

    Mike introduced me to racquetball and we played every Friday after work. The games were always vigorously contested – – Mike was very competitive.

    Toi and I have many memories of the times the four of us spent together including the trips to the Caribbean.

    Mike was a wonderful, highly valued friend. We will miss him.

  9. We have been friends and fans of Janene and Mike for 40 years and are heartbroken at his passing. We have many fond memories of Mike, from our very first trip to the OBX with very young children, bike riding, hiking, debating, his fabulous travel photos, and many return visits to the beach where Mike honed his skills in properly planting a beach umbrella. He lived life to the fullest and we will miss him terribly. Our love and heartfelt condolences to Janene, Eva, and the extended family.

  10. Along with being related, our two families have been dear friends and we have many good memories of times spent together. For me, one of the most lasting and riveting of those memories is when Mike and I went for a ride-along with the D.C. police decades ago, before Eva and Lizzie arrived and we came to our senses.

    On a steamy Saturday night in August 1990, we rode in the backseat of a police car to observe what was happening in Anacostia during the crack-cocaine epidemic. At the time, I was an Assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting street crime in D.C. and the police wanted me to see what they were up against. I was told I could bring a friend, but that he had to wave all liability. The ever-adventurous Mike said, “sure.” (I don’t know if Janene knew he waived all liability.)

    Our first stop that night involved a domestic disturbance. After we entered the house, the grandfather told us their grandson had a gun. As the officers drew their Glocks, Mike and I quickly backed out the front door to wait.

    During the ensuing three hours, we drove up to several murders and numerous drug transactions. The last incident was a shooting. When the police exited the car to pursue the suspect, they pointed up at the medivac helicopter and told us to lay out the flares that were in the trunk so the helicopter could land.

    After that intense drama, Mike said he needed a drink. We headed to the Dubliner, where he said the evening was like experiencing the Vietnam war in Washington. Through the years, Mike and I periodically reflected on that August night, still hardly believing it all happened.

  11. Uncle Mike, I will always remember the fun memories together. I remember sitting at that long table in the first house in TN and you were teaching us the heart card game and on the other table full of homemade pies that Aunt Jeanne made. Finally learning how to play the pinochle card game with your cheat sheet to help me and others play the game. All the hiking that you put together – I was young to go on the all and half day hikes but we did go on some easier hikes together. I remember going to the gardens beside y’all house or seeing Washington DC or trying out new food with you like Indian and French food. I learned a lot from you!
    Love you Uncle Mike!

  12. Mike Brandenburg
    Celebration of Life
    February 11, 2023

    When we received Janene’s email on January 28th, we knew our dear friend, Mike had passed. Our first thoughts were for Janene and Eva and the loss of a husband and father. Of course we felt sorrow, but we also immediately felt the joy of having known Mike and what he brought to our lives. So today we are happy to celebrate the life and legacy of a gentle soul.
    Ron met Mike in late August of 1967 as they had both joined their fraternity Theta Delta Chi. Knowing him over the next 55 years as a Brother, Best Man, and Godfather to our daughter has been pure joy and honor!
    Together we have had so many good times with Mike and Janene.
    Any weekend that Janene was scheduled to be in Ames, was a great weekend for Mike. Janene would come in her old blue station wagon and the fun would begin. That old jalopy was the center of several adventures like a camping weekend for VEISHEA. We also found that a mattress smuggled down the fire escape from the cold air dorm in the fraternity house was pretty comfy too!
    There were more serious times around the fraternity house as a number of our brothers would get together on a Saturday night and discuss the Vietnam conflict or war however you want to call it. The draft was front and center to Mike and all of us. I think all of us would have done our part, but we were all hoping for high draft numbers. I guess you can say we were “lucky” as we did not have our numbers called.
    On a much lighter note, Pam and Ron always enjoyed the “Saturday Night at the Movies” in Senior City where Mike and Bill Davidson roomed with the only full-sized refrigerator and a large tube TV. There was popcorn, some adult beverages, and the Svengali movies! Such memories we had with Mike on those special nights!
    For several years after college, we traveled with Mike and Janene annually. Our first trip in 1972 was to San Francisco to visit Pam’s sister and family. Every inch of our new orange Cutlass Oldsmobile was packed with camping gear. Janene and Pam had a cooler between them in the back seat. The passenger upfront had to straddle a tape recorder, since we thought recording our adventures was important. Oh, there was also the cartop carrier loaded with our other necessities.
    Ron and Mike were so excited to “pump their own gas” as we headed across Nebraska! We had steaks in Laramie, WY that were so large they draped over the plates, and the chandelier, if you could call it that, had plastic birds circling our table. So classy!
    Arriving in San Francisco we also met Janene’s parents who were attending a Law Conference. We truly left our hearts in San Francisco that night as we sat atop the iconic St. Francis Hotel and watched the fog roll in. What a trip with great friends!!!
    On our way home we camped one night atop a butte in Colorado and it rained cats and dogs. Ron and Mike dug a moat around our tent and we spent the night playing cards on top of our cooler under lantern light. Didn’t want to touch the tent sides for fear of creating drips!!
    When our daughter was about 3, we took a trip to Yellowstone. At the end of a long adventurous day Kate was getting a little cranky. So in an attempt to distract her, Mike suggested we should turn on the “moose lights”, otherwise known as mood lights in our conversion van. And as he did that, a momma moose and baby appeared in front of us. Katie was so awed by Mike’s ability, she perked right up and stared out the windows looking for more of Mike’s magic. From then on, we only had moose lights!
    Another trip took us to a Wisconsin resort where Mike was bound and determined to learn to water ski. What he learned however, was not to ski but how to throw out his back. He rode all the way home laid out on the floor between the seats of the van.
    There are so many other trip tales, phone conversations, and get togethers we could talk about, but we are here today to Celebrate Mike. We all have our own stories and adventures to tell about our times with Mike.
    A huge hole is left in our hearts with Mike’s passing, but we will never forget him as he made us laugh, cry, and mostly become better people. We wish we were there today to hear all your wonderful times and remembrances of Mike.
    We look forward to seeing Janene and Eva in the future and continue the joys of our lifetime friendship.
    Pam and Ron Hallenbeck

  13. Mike was a member of my project team involving a covert government agency. The AT&T mission involved providing vital communications in support of national security and required dedicated people to perform functions no matter the difficulty. Mike fully supported the team and, together, we installed and maintained a fiber optic network for the ‘customer’.

    I’m very proud to acknowledge Mike as a friend, trusted leader and professional engineer.

  14. To the Brandenburg Family,

    I am saddened to hear about Mike’s passing. I had the great fortune to have worked with Mike at AT&T in a variety of assignments. He succeeded me as District Manager of the Southern Maintenance Territory in 1982 and we worked together on a number of other projects. Mike was one of the most well respected people that I have worked with in 36 plus years. He was a calm and business like fellow and I considered him a friend during those times. May he rest.
    William R. (Bill) Kelly
    Former District Manager, Richmond District and Special Government Projects

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