Marion Janet Lafuze Brazes, 89
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Marion Janet (Lafuze) Brazes, 89, died at 10:10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at Green-Hill Manor in Fowler. She had lived in Oxford following her marriage to Anton A. (Tony) Brazes on June 21, 1953, until moving in March of 2006 to Green-Hill Manor due to advancing Alzheimer's disease.
Born Nov. 21, 1923, to Maurice and Marjorie (Beall) Lafuze, she grew up on a farm outside Liberty. She attended Purdue University, as did many members of her family, including both of her parents and her younger brother, David. She graduated at the top of her Purdue class in 1945, receiving her bachelor's degree in physical education and earning a letter sweater as a member of the women's field hockey team.
She earned a master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1947 and taught physical education in Elwood, Oshkosh, Wisc., and Valparaiso. Following her marriage, she taught physical education at Oxford School until 1956, when she left teaching to become a full-time wife, mother, homemaker and church and community volunteer.
While living in Oxford, she conducted workshops on baking yeast breads for local 4-H clubs, taught folk dancing to Girl Scout troops and was a Red Cross swimming instructor. When her two younger daughters were preschoolers, she started the weekly Story Hour program for children at the Oxford Public Library and read to children there for more than 10 years. During the 1970's she was instrumental in founding the local senior-meals program through the Community Action Program of Western Indiana.
A member of the Dan Patch Home Ec. Club, Sorosis and Benton County Mental Health Association, she also was active for many years in the women's service group at Oxford United Methodist Church. She earned her certification as an emergency medical technician and served as a volunteer EMT in the early days of the Benton County Ambulance Service. At the time of her death, she was a member of the Oxford Federated Church.
She leaves her husband, Tony; three daughters, Jane (David) Funke, of Carmel; Susan Brazas, of Rockford, Ill.; and Barb Brazes, of Durango, Colo.; and six grandchildren to whom she loved to read: Ellen, Katharine and Anna Funke and Madeleine, Dillon and Francie Witt.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Nancy, in 2004.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, March 8, at Oxford Federated Church, with visitation from 1 p.m. until the time of the service, and also immediately following. As she had wished, her body was donated for medical research. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Oxford Federated Church.
Published in the Journal & Courier from Mar. 2 to Mar. 3, 2013