Darla Rae (Johnson) Braun was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in January 2023 and lost her cancer fight on August 14, 2023. She was born June 29, 1956 in Hoven, SD to Loren and Junya Johnson. Before she was two, the family moved to a farm near Ipswich, SD. She attended Ipswich Public School, graduating with the class of 1974. During school she was involved in FHA and 4-H.
On April 5, 1975, she married Dale Braun. This was the beginning of their Air Force life. They lived in CA, MI, SD, KS and ND. While in Rapid City she was employed in the Accounting Dept. of Sears until their first daughter, Shanna, was born. They welcomed daughter Tracy two and a half years later. With the arrival of her daughters, Darla became a stay-at-home mom, which she considered her most important and rewarding job. The family’s final Air Force move was to Minot, ND in 1988. Once both girls were in school, Darla started working for Brokers 12, Inc. as a receptionist and then as office manager. After 27 years with the company, Darla retired in 2018. While the girls were growing up, she was a leader of the Gasman 4-H Club and was involved in the Ward County 4-H Counsel. In retirement, Darla increased her involvement with Veteran’s Affairs programs.
Darla was a very hard worker and enjoyed the outdoors and grew up hunting and fishing with her dad and brothers. She continued these activities as an adult along with gardening, canning, sewing, quilting, cooking, and baking. Darla passed these skills on to her daughters, through soliciting their help and supporting their 4-H projects. Darla was known as the mom who could fix anything that ripped or broke on your clothes, always welcomed guests with home-baked goods on hand, and passed down family recipes – including the favorite “Grandma’s fried chicken,” rhubarb desserts, caramel rolls, and canned pickles.
Spending time at the lake with Dale was a favorite activity, especially if family and friends could join them. She and Dale also enjoyed their many camping trips and winter getaways to warmer areas. She had a soft spot in her heart for springer spaniels and raised five springer “fur babies.”
Darla faced her diagnosis with quiet strength and resolve, putting her family first throughout. The family would like to thank Trinity Cancer Care, Edgewood Vista, and Caring Edge Hospice for providing Darla with excellent, compassionate care. Dale, Shanna, and Tracy would also like to thank the family and friends who have shown tremendous love and support along the way.
She is survived by her husband Dale, daughters Shanna (Chris Lyon) Braun of Minneapolis, MN and Tracy (Adam) Larson of Willow City, ND. Siblings Jolean (Jim) Mitzel, Daryl (Linda) Johnson, and Rich (Linda) Johnson; brothers-in-law Les Braun, Jon (Leslie) Braun, Tim (Sue) Braun; sisters-in-law Kathy Kiefer, Diana (Tom) Gillick, and Anita (Rick) Weisser, along with many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws Ed and Gladys Braun, sister-in-law Deb Braun, nephew Clinton Johnson, and niece Sheila Mitzel.
A celebration of life gathering for family and friends will be held on August 26, 2023 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot. Per Darla’s request there will not be a funeral. After cremation she will be buried in North Dakota Veterans Cemetery at Mandan, ND.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue or Ward County 4-H Scholarship Fund.
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