Joyce Marie (Alexander) Braun, born Dec, 27, 1932; died Nov. 10, 2016.
BARABOO/MADISON – Joyce Marie Braun, age 83, went to be with her Lord on November 10, 2016, at the SSM Health St. Clare Meadows Care Center in Baraboo with her children at her side. Born in Baraboo on the 27th of December 1932 to Henry and Florence (Fredrick) Alexander, she enjoyed growing up on a farm and loved being outdoors.
Joyce began her elementary education in a rural one-room schoolhouse where her mother had once taught. Less than a mile from the old family farm, the building still stands. Always an active member of her class, she held several officers positions and represented her school at Badger Girl’s State. She excelled at academics, graduating as valedictorian of her Baraboo high school class in 1950. After high school Joyce and her close friend and classmate took off for the “big city” of Madison. There they joined the office staff of Southern Wisconsin Breeders Cooperative, then a newly formed entity of the University of Wisconsin on Madison’s west side. The girls rented rooms downtown in a house where they enjoyed the lakeshore and amenities of a more cosmopolitan city. It was at a Madison Community Center dance where she first met her husband-to-be, electrical contractor, Roland (Rollie) Braun. They were married on March 7, 1953 and soon had built their own house in the new Glen Oak Hills development on Madison’s west side where Joyce lived for most of her Adult life.
She had a strong Christian faith and was an avid reader on political issues; often sharing her time and money in support of causes she passionately believed in. Joyce became a self-taught expert on natural health topics and enjoyed sharing her expertise to the benefit of friends and family. She was an excellent gardener and well-renowned for her culinary skills. For many summers she donated her time to serve as the head cook for a large Christian Youth camp in Northern Wisconsin. Her skills were acknowledged again in 1979, when Joyce received local and national media coverage by winning the Campbell’s Creative Cooking Contest. Sponsored by Campbell Soup Company, she was awarded an histrionic free shopping spree at her favorite grocery store.
While most of her adult life was devoted to maintaining loving and comfortable surroundings for her family, her later years in Madison were also spent as a librarian for Cuna Mutual, just up the street from where her first employer had been located back in 1950.
Later in her retirement years, Joyce found herself drawn back to her roots in Baraboo where she resided until her death. She prided herself in tending to the Rock Hill Cemetery that overlooks the farm she grew up on. Almost as if preparing a place alongside her ancestors buried there, she and her long-time friend Gene, followed a weekly routine which included planting flowers and checking the bluebird houses. The trip home usually took them by the Meadows Care Center to visit with elderly and ailing family, friends and neighbors. Sadly, her last few years at the Meadows were spent as the “visited” instead of the “visitor”.
Joyce is survived by her sons, Darrell (Debra) – McFarland and Randall – Denver CO; grandson, Andrew (Molly) – Middleton; great-granddaughters, Ava and Emmeline; six sisters, Lorraine (Al) Chojnacki – West Allis, Helen (George) Ewing – Golden Valley MN, Audrey (Richard) Skinner – Reedsburg, Marjorie Alexander – Denver CO, Linda Alexander – Green Bay, Diane (Dave) Pietenpol – Green Bay; brother Robert (Liz) Alexander – Greeley CO; many nieces and nephews; numerous friends and extended relatives. She was preceded in death by her parents, estranged husband, and her Grandson, Ryan.
A celebration of her life will be held at 11 am on November 19, 2016 at Redlin Funeral Home in Baraboo, officiated by Pastor Ron Dobie, cousin to Joyce. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow at Rock Hill Cemetery immediately after the service.
Donations can be made to the Sauk County Humane Society at www.saukhumane.org.