Raymond J. Brannaman, 91, Sutliff, passed away Thursday, February 26, 2009, at Hallmark Care Center in Mount Vernon from a brief illness. Memorial services were held Monday, March 2, at Brosh Chapel in Solon with Rev. Mark Gefaller. Full military rites will be conducted by the Solon American Legion Stinocher Post 460. Visitation was Sunday at Brosh Chapel in Solon. As per Ray’s wishes he continues the gift of life with the University of Iowa College of Medicine and University Hospital and Clinics. A private family inurnment will be at a later date at Cedar Memorial Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
Ray was born November 25, 1917, on a farm east of Sutliff, the son of Bert and Elizabeth “Lizzy” (Kadera) Brannaman. He attended various one-room school houses and then graduated from Lisbon High School in 1937. During World War II, he served his nation in the U.S. Army in the Philippines. Returning home in 1946, he and his brother Don started farming together in the Sutliff area. Ray met the love of his life, Betty Klahn, at a dance in Cedar Rapids and they were married on September 9, 1957. They raised four children together on a farm south of Sutliff. In 1978, they moved into the log home on the hill in Sutliff that they built together. Ray and Betty truly enjoyed their married years together. They were active in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, school events and took many trips together. He was very thankful for their trip together in Europe in the fall of 1980 as Betty passed away in September of 1981.
Ray treasured the Sutliff area. He was instrumental in the drive to save the Sutliff Bridge. He was proud of the founding members of the Sutliff Bridge Authority and its purpose. He was a 60-year member of the Solon American Legion. He served on the Lisbon School Board as well as the Johnson County Soil Conservation Board.
Ray enjoyed his years of hunting trips to Bois Blanc Island in Michigan. He started in 1952 and would continue these trips for over fifty years. He treasured his friendships with this group of men and would always be looking forward to the next trip. After retiring from farming, he remained very active. He enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s school events, cutting wood, playing cards at Sutliff, trimming trees and making deer salami. Ray loved his time at the Sutliff Store and was a source of inspiration for his zest in life. He will be missed for his gentle humor and friendliness to everyone.
Ray is survived by his children Tom Brannaman of Sutliff, Jim (Jody) Brannaman of Ft. Collins, Colo., Dan (Denise) Brannaman of Mt. Vernon, and Sarah Brannaman of Sutliff; grandchildren Megan McDaniel and Anna Brannaman, Ben, Alex, Cory, Jenna Brannaman; sister Marcella Clark of Mt. Vernon; brothers Louis Brannaman of Davis, Calif., and Don (Rita) Brannaman of Solon; a sister-in-law Mary Brannaman of Sutliff and brother-in-laws Neal Swensen of Lubbock, Texas and Marvin (Arlene) Klahn of Cedar Rapids as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Betty, a sister Eva Swensen, brother Arch Brannaman, a brother-in-law Jake Clark, and a grandson Colin Brannaman.
Memorials may be directed to the family at 1286 Sutliff Second Street NE, Lisbon, Iowa 52253.
The family would like to send a special thank you to the staff at Hallmark Care Center, Iowa Hospice, Pastor Mark, as well as all his friends and family who spent time with him before his move to Hallmark, especially Randy and Chris at the Store.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com .