Duane M. Braun Obituary
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In Memory of

Duane M. Braun

May 2, 1921 - August 30, 2010
Obituary

Duane M. Braun, beloved father, husband, friend & war hero, passed away Monday morning, August 30, 2010, at Spanish Meadows retirement community in Katy, Texas, following a long, courageous and mostly happy struggle with a broken hip, failing heart, and pneumonia. Duane, affectionately known as "Poppa" and "Daddy" in his later years, was 89 years old. Duane lived a quintessential 20th Century American life. He was born during the Roaring Twenties (May 2, 1921) on his beloved rural family farm at Bonus in Wharton County, located outside the rice farming and goose hunting community of Eagle Lake, Texas. He...
Duane M. Braun, beloved father, husband, friend & war hero, passed away Monday morning, August 30, 2010, at Spanish Meadows retirement community in Katy, Texas, following a long, courageous and mostly happy struggle with a broken hip, failing heart, and pneumonia. Duane, affectionately known as "Poppa" and "Daddy" in his later years, was 89 years old.

Duane lived a quintessential 20th Century American life. He was born during the Roaring Twenties (May 2, 1921) on his beloved rural family farm at Bonus in Wharton County, located outside the rice farming and goose hunting community of Eagle Lake, Texas. He survived a difficult childhood (which included military school, witnessing the drowning/electrocution death of his father, and the Great Depression) to join the military in 1940 before the outbreak of World War II.

Duane was assigned to the Eighth Army Air Force, 303rd Bomber Group, England, where he became a bona fide war hero in the defeat of Nazi Germany. Duane's B-17 bomber crew flew approximately 32 combat missions against heavily defended strategic targets. For this unselfish bravery, he was awarded numerous medals, including the Air Medal & the Distinguished Flying Cross. His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation states: "For extraordinary achievement while serving as aerial engineer and gunner of a B-17 airplane on a number of combat bombardment missions over Germany and German occupied countries." He shared his generation's reluctance to talk about his individual accomplishments during the war and focused instead on the deeply moving experiences he shared with his comrades.

Duane returned home to the increasingly urban United States to make full use of the GI Bill, earning his bachelor degree from the University of Houston in 1949. While finishing college, he met Marie Elizabeth Sivil. They fell in love, wed in 1950, and began the serious business of raising a family in the American traditions of the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. Duane, Marie, and their 4 children resided in Garden Villas, a booming post WW II suburban mecca in Southeast Houston near Hobby Airport and Sims Bayou. Duane worked his entire 35 year career in the Allied-Signal oil refinery on the Houston Ship Channel. He loved to joke that his "mechanical genius" kept the refinery from blowing up.

Following retirement, Duane enjoyed numerous hobbies including travel, gardening, square dancing, swimming, ballroom dancing, arm chair psychology, biking, and "tinkering around the house". He was most proud of his family and their accomplishments. Duane is survived by his children: David, Michael (and spouse Kirsten), Barbara (and spouse Gregory Roden), and Stephen; 4 lovely granddaughters: Jessica, Julia, Devon, and Kayla; several beloved nieces, nephews, cousins; and other family and friends. He is preceded in death by his cherished mother Dorothy, his father Arnold W., his beloved sister Patricia, and his wife of more than 40 years, Marie.

The memorial service will take place at the Rothko Chapel, beginning at 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 11th, 1409 Sul Ross Street Houston, TX 77006-4829, between the University of St. Thomas and the Menil Collection
Immediately following the service, a reception for family and friends will take place in the Fireside Room at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, located at 5200 Fannin (at Southmore).

Duane will be interred next to his wife Marie at Forest Park Cemetery, 6900 Lawndale Street, Houston, Texas.

Arrangements under the direction of:

Funeraria Del Angel
6330 Gulf Freeway
Houston, Texas 77023
(713) 644-1641

"Dear Ones, I will never forget the first time I met your dad...I was 18 and he gave me a big bear hug. From that day on (and I'll admit I am 56 now)...he..." Pamela McDonald (Friendswood, TX)

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Houston Chronicle
DUANE M. BRAUN, beloved father, husband, friend & war hero, passed away Monday morning, August 30, 2010, at Spanish Meadows retirement community...

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