Born in Cosmos, MN, Brede worked briefly for the Northwest Airlines Modification Center at St. Paul Airport before entering military service. He served with the 3rd Infantry Division, stationed in the Philippines where he was wounded and received the Purple Heart medal. He attended the Spartan School of Aeronautics where he earned his mechanics license. He went on to earn several flying licenses, including Private, Commercial, Multi-Engine, and Seaplane Examiner. Brede worked as a flight instructor, pilot examiner, charter and corporate pilot, flying for Red Owl Foods, Viking Tool Company and Gresser Construction Co. Brede owned an FBO at South St. Paul Airport, Brede Aviation Company, where he rebuilt many old aircraft. He earned the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award for fifty years of service to General Aviation. The Bredes live in Hastings, MN.