Elmer "Butch" Braband, age 95, formerly of Le Mars, died Thursday evening, Nov. 30, 2006, at Arlington Place in St. Joseph, Minn.
Elmer Peter Braband was born Oct. 18, 1911, in Le Mars, the son of August and Grace (DeBoer) Braband. He farmed in Le Mars and married Harriet Hughes on May 16, 1934. They farmed in Balaton, Minn., for three years and then returned to Le Mars where Butch drove truck and owned a trucking business. Later, Butch owned and operated a bar he called the Recreation Hall and sold feed for his brother-in-law's business.
In 1970 the Brabands moved to Osakis and Butch kept busy as a school bus driver for District 213. After his wife Harriet passed away in 1991, Butch became close friends with Clara Rutten of Osakis. They married on June 25, 1993, and lived in Osakis until moving to Arlington Place in St. Joseph, Minn., in 2004.
Butch loved to be with people. He loved to laugh and tell jokes and put people at ease. He had a great love for music and belonged to several area choirs, including the Alexandria Chordsman barbershop choir, the Gordon Mens Choir and the church choir at First Presbyterian in Osakis where he was a member.
Butch belonged to the Osakis Senior Center, where he was known for his gift of storytelling. He liked to play bridge and computer solitaire. If the Vikings were winning, Butch would sit down to watch but he would prefer to be out telling his jokes to a group of friends or family. Raising violets and bird watching were other activities he enjoyed.
When he married Clara, Butch also became a father, grandpa and great grandpa to her children. He loved holding the grandkids and being part of a big family. He was a kind and easy-going and was always ready to find the good in others. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
Butch is survived by his wife, Clara Braband of St. Joseph; children, Doug (Joan) Rutten of Osakis, Dave (Eileen) Rutten of Kalamazoo, Mich., Rose Mary (Mark) Hedner of Starbuck, Minn., Ray Rutten of Osakis, Diane (Russ) Oberg of Rockford, Minn., and MaryKay Hawkins and Steve Espelien of St. Joseph, Minn.; 25 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Maynard "Jinx" (Frances) Braband of Le Mars and Donald (Mabel) Braband of Balaton, Minn.; sisters, Edith Armstrong of Walnut Creek, Calif. Sylvia (Elmer) Johnson and Lou (Bob) Galbraith, both of Balaton, Minn.; and a sister-in-law, Violet Braband, Sebring, Fla.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Harriet; a brother, Wally Braband; sisters, Eva, Jenny, Lorna, Ruth, Edna and Gladys; and two granddaughters, Sarah Rutten and Angeline Hawkins.
Funeral services were held today (Monday) at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Osakis with the Rev. Kathy Schuler officiating. Music was provided by the First Presbyterian and Gordon Mens Choirs. Interment was at the Calvary Cemetery in Osakis with the Gordon Mens Choir acting as honorary pallbearers. Active bearers were Lloyd Braband, Ken, Mike, Greg and Ryan Rutten, Rod Hedner, Shawn Oberg and Ethan Hawkins-Espelien.
The Roy-Hetland Funeral Home of Osakis was in charge of arrangements.