William â€śBillâ€ť Harold Brauner, a longtime resident of the Kettle Falls area, passed away peacefully on Oct. 21, 2013 at his Kettle Falls home. Bill was born on April 26, 1924 in MarÂ¬cus, the son of Carl and Ruth Ellen (Ricketts) Brauner.
Bill was raised in Marcus, where he attended school in MarÂ¬cus. By the age of 12 he was driving truck, haulÂ¬ing rough green pine from the mill jacks to the lumberyard. By age 14, he was operating the boiler. Bill had his own paper route by age 16.
During his senior year at Marcus High School, Billâ€™s brothers were drafted, which required he leave school to work full-time at the family sawmill. Bill was drafted into the Army on May 29, 1943 to serve during WWII. He began his service building Liberty ships in Tacoma before being placed with the forestry engineers. He operated a portable sawmill in the Philippines and New Guinea, working as a saw filer. He developed lifelong friendships with members of his unit and enjoyed numerous reunions throughout the years.
Bill was honorably discharged Jan 24, 1946 and resided for a time in Tacoma, where he worked behind a planer mill. He then returned to Northeast Washington where he met Betty VinÂ¬cent/Kerr. They were wed on June 27, 1947 and together beÂ¬gan raising a family. Billâ€™s family continued to grow while they resided at Curlew Lake for two years before returning to Kettle Falls.
In 1950, Bill and his brother Dick purchased the family sawmill and moved the mill from Sherman Creek to its current location (now Columbia Cedar).
Betty passed away in 1989 and several years later, he marÂ¬ried Lorraine Connall. Billâ€™s business ventures included the Brauner Lumber Co., Brauner & Hastings, Brauner ManageÂ¬ment, Fibco, WHB Investments, Metalurgical Chip Co., Kettle Falls Marina, and the Panorama Enercorp. He operated the mill and the lumberyard in SpoÂ¬kane until his retirement in 1997.
Bill was an active member of the Kettle Falls commuÂ¬nity. He served on the numerous community boards, including the Kettle Falls Historical Society, Kettle Falls City Council, AmeriÂ¬can Legion, Kettle Falls Volunteer Fire Department, numerous timber and lumber groups, Eagles and Elks Lodges, Lion Club, Kettle River Advisory Board, Ferry County Action League, etc. He was also instrumental in supporting the Lions 4th of July firework displays. Bill took the opportunity to donate to those in need, especially through the Kettle Falls Food Bank. He also loved country drives and snow skied into his mid 80â€™s. His boundless supply of energy and ability to bring life to stories of the past will be remembered for generations.
Bill was preceded in death by two brothers, Elmo and RichÂ¬ard Brauner; his two sisters, Shirley Mosley and Maxine RickÂ¬etts.
He is survived by his two sons, Hal Brauner, Hilo, HI; Bruce Brauner, Kettle Falls; two daughters,, Marsha Brauner, Kettle Falls; Elaine Alling and her husband, Kenneth, Spokane; brother, Lloyd Brauner, Loon Lake; brother-in-law, Jerry VinÂ¬cent, Kettle Falls;; fourteen grandchildren, Paula Hurst, ReÂ¬becca Alling, Bill Alling, Heather Krogemann, Josh and Jake Alling, Heidi Green, Mâ€™Lissa Wedmeyer, Lisa Marie Brauner, Gabriel King, Aaron King, Miranda Geiszler, Willis King, Theodore Pirtle, eleven great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Mr. William â€śBillâ€ť Harold Brauner will begin at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the First CongregaÂ¬tional/United Church of Christ in Colville. Pastor Jim CastroÂ¬Lang will officiate.
The graveside service and vault interment will follow at the Meyers Falls Cemetery, Kettle Falls.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Kettle Falls Food Bank. Please visit the on-line memorial and sign the guestÂ¬book at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com.
Danekas Funeral Chapel & Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.