Richard (Dick) D. Brauner, 89, died July 15, 2011 at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Ronna and Eddie Jimenez, in Palm Desert, California, from complications of Pneumonia, COPD and heart disease. He was born July 9, 1922 in Colville. He resided in the summer at Loon Lake, and wintered at Desert Hot Springs, California with his wife of 66 years, Maxine.
Dick, the third oldest of six children of Ruth (Ricketts) and Carl Brauner, is survived by his wife, Maxine, age 83, and five children: Gayle, Woodland; Richard K, Spokane; Rodney, Kettle Falls; Dan, Colville; Ronna Jimenez, Palm Desert; and six grandchildren, Sean, Chelsea, Brooke, April, Kyle and Samantha; his brothers, Lloyd and Bill.
Dick was preceded in death by his sisters, Maxine and Shirley, and by a brother, Elmo.
Dick grew up in Marcus, graduating in 1940. He was fond of playing tennis and pranks (the story of an old outhouse comes to mind, moved to block the highway where the school bus had to cross a bridge), learning to be industrious and carrying on the family trait of stubborn self-reliance.
He was patriotic, believing that all able-bodied men should join the service in support of our country, which he did (the U.S. Navy during WWII). He served aboard the USS LST 307 in the European Theater as a Motor Machinist’s Mate first class. Often experiencing war conflicts as his ship hauled Marines and equipment to unload on beaches, he was a awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroism during an engagement in which he helped to secure the ship and fellow sailors under enemy fire.
Proud of his service, he became involved in the local Legionnaire’s club, helping with the annual Kettle Falls Fourth of July celebrations.
During one leave from his naval duties, he met Maxine Meyer, of Chewelah, the friend of his cousin, Jo Van Doren. Soul mates from first glance, they married, and Maxine soon traveled to be with him in San Diego. He was fond of telling a story of his new, young and pretty wife playing poker with the other sailors. They built a life and raised their 5 children in Kettle Falls after buying the sawmill from his dad, with his younger brother, Bill.
Dick ran the logging operation, and his family spent most of their early years growing up in the forests and mountains, along the creeks, rivers and lakes of Eastern Washington. Dick attended his sons’ Little League games, at times coming straight from the woods in his logging boots. One of his unique constructions was the “screaming machine” go cart he hand-made that was powered by a chainsaw motor, which his kids ran the heck out of.
Later, Dick designed, built and sold houses. He enjoyed working on myriad projects (a “Jack of all trades”), playing golf and slot machines, and growing orange and lemon trees.
Dick was cremated and his aches were scattered in the Kettle Falls area.
An informal Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held at 4109 Maple Street at Loon Lake on August 13 from 5-8 p.m. Please contact Rod Brauner at 509-738-4447 or Ronna Jimenez at 760-219-7898 for more details.