Jean Draehn, Jeannie to family and friends, won her final battle with cancer on February 19, 2012 at her home in Sandy Creek Estates, surrounded by her loving family. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Brenham High School auditorium, 525 A. H. Ehrig Drive, Brenham. Rev. J. B. Bitner and Rev. Dale Chance will officiate. Visitation with the family will be held Friday evening from 5 until 7 p.m. at Memorial Oaks Chapel.|
Gloria Jean Martin Draehn was born on July 19, 1945, that summer when World War II was just ending. She was the fourth child of Susie and L.C. Martin, who named her with the thought of how glorious it was to have peace return to the world. Jeannie graduated from Brenham High School in 1963 and Blinn College in 1965. She married Donald Draehn on September 11, 1965. Donald was the love of her entire life beginning in the seventh grade, and these sweethearts, best friends and partners recently celebrated their 46th anniversary.
Jeannie and Donald were blessed with daughter, Ashley, and son, Rhett. Ashley married Sam Gumbert and gave Jeannie three grandsons, Spencer, Oliver and Ethan. Rhett married another Ashley and gave Jeannie granddaughter, Lexi, and another grandson, Christian. They were truly a bright spot in her life during her long struggles with cancer.
Jeannie grew up in the First Baptist Church of Brenham, where she was baptized as a child. She and Donald later joined the First United Methodist Church together. Jeannie was always a great supporter and participant in all things Brenham. She was on the board of the Brenham Children's Chorus and was one of the original founders of the Blue Bonnet Society of Bellville. She took an active part in Maifest as a director and as the parent of Junior Maifest Queen Ashley in 1984 and King Rhett in 1987. She was a proud backer of Unity Theater as well as the Brenham schools. She rarely missed an opportunity to purchase student art or other auction items to benefit Brenham organizations and institutions.
Jeannie had many talents, but she was particularly gifted with a keen business sense and a willingness to work hard to accomplish her goals. She was instrumental in helping Donald to become first a pharmacist and then a pediatrician. When his practice was well established in Brenham, she started her own business, Medicare Equipment, in 1984, which expanded to branches in Tomball and Bryan. She took great pride in being a Woman in Business.
The economy can only suffer now that one of the greatest shoppers around has left us. Jeannie's presence will especially be missed at the Round Top Antique Shows and the Indian Market in Santa Fe. Even when she was deathly ill, a good shopping spree worked wonders for her. Truly memorable was the year she, her daughter, mother and sisters went to Round Top in the Medicare Equipment box van with a mattress in the back for her to lie on and the lift to lower and raise her wheelchair.
In addition to her husband, children and grandchildren, Jeannie is survived by her mother-in-law, Florence Draehn; and Donald's brother and his wife, Norman and Doris Draehn of Brenham. Missing her very much are her brother and sister-in-law, Julian and Geneva Martin of Brenham; and her sisters and brothers-in-law, Joan and Homer Borgstedte of Houston, Patsy and J.B. Bitner of San Angelo and Linda and Steve Johnston of Houston. She was Aunt Jeannie to Michael Draehn, Stephen Draehn, Brent Borgstedte, Byron Bitner, Shelley Bitner Blanton, Keith Bitner, Marty Martin, Kristy Martin Collier, Julie Martin Inman, Ryan Johnston and all their spouses and children. Going on before her were her parents, Donald's father, Robert Draehn, and her niece, Megan Johnston.
The family would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Marek and the Brenham Clinic Staff and Dr. Kim, Dr. Weber, Dr. Kontoyiannis and the numerous other physicians of M.D. Anderson for all their care and compassion that kept her fighting for so many years. Memorials can be made to the Brenham Education Foundation, the Edna Gladney Home, Unity Theater, the Children's Chorus or the
Donald, Ashley and Rhett want to personally thank Joan, Julian and Geneva for all their help taking Jeannie back and forth to hospitals and doctors all these years, and always being there to help when we needed you. We could not have managed without you.
Funeral arrangements for Jeannie Draehn are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main St., Brenham. To post a tribute to the family, visit www.memorialoakschapel.com.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 23, 2012