BIG TIMBER — Duane Oscar “Dewey” Braaten passed away at the Pioneer Medical Center in Big Timber on April 4, 2014, following a more-than-yearlong courageous battle with colon cancer.
Dewey was born May 7, 1930, at home, east of Greycliff to Oscar H. and Helen Christine Elgen Braaten. He joined brother Kenneth and sister Betty. Sister Lorene “Lolly” joined them later. He attended grade school in Greycliff and graduated from Sweet Grass County High School in 1947 where he loved participating in boxing, wrestling, football and basketball.
Following high school, he worked on the family ranch. Ranching and the out of doors remained loves of his throughout his entire life.
On Oct. 28, 1951, he married Georgia Aalgaard. They were blessed with three daughters — Diane, Susie and Judy. The girls loved gathering around the piano to sing while their dad played. Playing music by ear was one of his talents.
In 1972, Dewey and Georgie sold their ranch and purchased Gambles Hardware. Through Gambles, Dewey traveled to Spain, Bermuda, Mexico, and made many trips to market. He ran Gambles until his retirement in 1998.
On June 19, 1982, he married Pamela Kae “Pam” Crawford. They shared almost 32 years together. They took many road trips and attended several Green Bay Packer games over the years.
Dewey enjoyed golf, being the first person to hit a hole in one at the Overland Golf Course. He also enjoyed bowling, biking, playing cards, yard work, crossword puzzles, armchair sports and attending high school sporting events. He served on the football chain gang for many years. He loved having morning coffee with friends at Cole Drug, playing pitch at the Legion Club, and the many annual golfing trips with his buddies to Nevada.
He was a civic-minded community member, serving on school boards, the library board, and the golf course greens committee. He was a longtime president of the men’s bowling league, a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and a docent at Crazy Mountain Museum.
Dewey was a devoted family man, friend and neighbor. He was kind, caring, thoughtful, generous, humble and unassuming. Dewey was fun-loving, and he loved life.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Georgie; his parents; his brother; and his sister Lolly. He is survived by his wife, Pam; daughter Diane (Duane) Tronrud of Melville; daughter Susie Bonnarens of Medford, Ore.; daughter Judy (John) Emenegger of Brush Prairie, Wash.; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sister Betty (Hobert) Heiken; brother-in-law, Speed Imlay; uncle, Erwin Elgen; aunt, Liz Elgen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Billings Clinic Oncology and Infusion Center and the staff at Pioneer Medical Center and Hearts and Hands Hospice for their wonderful care.
Cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held 2 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Big Timber Lutheran Church. Memorials in Dewey’s name may be made to Hearts and Hands Hospice, PO Box 1337, Big Timber, MT 59011; Crazy Mountain Museum, PO Box 83, Big Timber, MT 59011; or to a charity of one’s choice.
Condolences for the family may be made at www.stenbergfuneralhome.com.