KATHLEEN ANN "KATHY" BRAEUNINGER
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FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine—Kathleen Ann "Kathy" Braeuninger, 60, wife of Dean C. Hunter, passed away Wednesday evening, Jan. 9, 2013, at a Presque Isle Healthcare facility, due to complications from cancer. She was born June 13, 1952, in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Albert Dale and Kathleen (Armstrong) Braeuninger.
Kathy grew up in Suburban Maryland and spent three years from 1958-1960, traveling through Europe, while her father was stationed in Frankfort, Germany. Kathy graduated from Sherwood High School in 1970, and attended Montgomery College in Rockville, Md., taking courses in Criminal Justice. In 1973, her daughter Virginia "Ginni" was born. Kathy felt that Ginni was her greatest accomplishment, and they were always very close - even attending college together. In 1979, Kathy realized her dream of being a police officer and joined the Police Department in Ocean City, becoming one of the town's first female officers. She was primarily a patrol officer, which she loved. She also headed up the "Noise Unit" and the Community Policing Unit for several summers. She was a trained intoximeter operator for over twenty-five years, and ran hundreds of breath tests. Kathy was the coordinator and member of the OCPD Peer Support Team. She was a desk sergeant for several years towards the end of her career. Kathy was promoted to Police Officer First Class (PFC) in 1991, Sergeant in 1996, and was Acting Lieutenant in the summer of 2000. During her career, she received numerous awards and recognitions for her service. Kathy enlisted in the United States Naval Reserves in 1988. She was activated and deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. She served on the security team as a Master-at-Arms for Navy Fleet Hospital 15 out in the middle of the desert, supporting the Marine Forces in the area. She left the reserves in 1996 as a Master-at-Arms First Class. She received numerous awards, recognitions and medals for her service.
Kathy purchased a home in Newark, and loved living in her 1920's farmhouse for twenty-one years! She and her dogs loved walking in the fields and woods every day, no matter the weather. She returned to college and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Salisbury State University in 1996. In 1999, Kathy married Dean Hunter - they had a blast "eloping" to Las Vegas. Kathy retired from OCPD in 2006 after twenty-seven years of service. She was the first female officer to retire from the Department. After her retirement, Kathy, Dean, and her parents moved into her dream house - a lovely Victorian along the river in Fort Fairfield, Maine. Kathy became an active member of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church, where she made many dear friends. She was an avid birdwatcher, and became one of the first members of the "Aroostook Birders". She was a member of the VFW Paul Lockhart Post Number 6187, Fort Fairfield, and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 10 in Ocean City. Kathy enjoyed flower gardening, doing genealogy research, and walking with her dogs. She also loved spending time at the family camp in Sinclair, and the family farm in Woodland. In 2007, Kathy became a part-time Victim Witness Advocate with the Aroostook County District Attorney's office - a job that allowed her to combine her experience as a police officer and her background in Psychology to help victims in need. She regretfully resigned from her position when she became ill in 2012.
Kathy was predeceased by her father Albert D. "Dale" Braeuninger; grandparents, Albert and Mary Braeuninger of Philadelphia, Henry and Annie Armstrong of Caribou, Maine.
She is survived by her husband of thirteen years, Dean of Fort Fairfield; her mother, Kathleen E. Braeuninger of Caribou; one daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Bill Magee of Columbia, Md.; one brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Amy Braeuninger of Salem, Ore; aunt, Mary Beatty of Scottsdale, Ariz.; several nieces and nephews; as well as her beloved dachshunds, Tyler and Nikki.
Friends may call Sunday, January from 7-9 p.m. at the Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, 144 Main Street, Fort Fairfield. The funeral service will be conducted Monday at 11 a.m. at the St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 166 Main Street, Fort Fairfield, with the Rev. Kevin Kinsey officiating. A time of continued fellowship with refreshments will be held at the VFW Paul Lockhart Post Number 6187, Presque Isle Street, Fort Fairfield, immediately after the funeral service. Interment will take place later in the spring at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Caribou.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish may contribute in memory of Kathy to the St. Paul's Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, c/o Gloria Towle, P.O. Box 737, Fort Fairfield, Maine 04742. Envelopes will be available at both the funeral home and church.
Published in The Daily Times on Jan. 12, 2013