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Verbena Louise "Bennie" (Stillman) Brace


1934 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Verbena Louise "Bennie" (Stillman) Brace Obituary
Verbena "Bennie" Louise Brace, resident of Shattuck, Okla., and Bent, passed away peacefully Friday, Dec. 23, 2011, at the Shattuck Nursing Center, ending her battle with Alzheimer's disease.
She is survived by her loving husband of 57 years and three months, Johnnie Edward Brace. They first met at a square dance Nov. 11, 1950, at St. John's Lutheran Academy in Winfield, Kan., followed by their first date Nov. 18, 1950. They married Oct. 24, 1954, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hoxie, Kan., with the Rev. Gustav Kreft officiating. Their long courtship led to an even longer marriage.
She is also survived by her daughters Roxanne Novotny and spouse, John T. Novotny, of Enid, Okla., and Debbie Quintana and spouse, Albert Quintana, of Ruidoso; and her son Jason Edward Brace and spouse, Josie Portolesi Brace, of Orlando, Fla., and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She is also survived by her grandchildren Joseph Theodore Novotny, of Clarkesville, Tenn.; Suzanne Novotny, of Pleasant View, Tenn.; Benjamin Edward Novotny, of Enid; Steven Andrew Novotny, of Lawton, Okla.; and Nicole Lynn Novotny Ward, of Killeen, Texas, as well as two great-grandchildren, Joshua David Novotny and Wyatt Hudson Novotny, of Pleasant View, Tenn. She is also survived by sister-in-law Esther Stillman, of Kansas City, Mo.; her brothers William Stillman and his wife, Ellen, of Indianapolis, and Albert Stillman and his wife, Annie, of Hoxie, Kan.; her sister the Rev. Lyla Harold and her husband, Norbert, of Fredericksburg, Va.; sister-in-law Evelyn Holt and her husband, Bud, of Gage, Okla.; and many nieces, nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents William and Marie Stillman, of Menlo, Kan., and her older brother Garnold Stillman, of Kansas City.
Bennie was born April 26, 1934, in Menlo, Kan. She was baptized May 6, 1934, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hoxie, by the Rev. Rudolph Beck. She was also confirmed in the same church March 30, 1947, by the Rev. M.A. Pullman. Her recent church homes included Trinity Lutheran Church, Alamogordo,; Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Ruidoso; and Christ Lutheran Church, Shattuck.
Her education started when she attended the Bloomfield District 58 school northwest of Hoxie, followed by Immanuel Lutheran School where she graduated in 1947. She graduated from St. John's Lutheran Academy in Winfield, Kan., in 1951 and earned her Associate of Arts degree from St. John's Lutheran College in Winfield in 1953. She also graduated from West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas, in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her chosen vocation was the field of teaching. She taught school for 37 years in locations that included St. Peter's Lutheran School, Lodi, Calif.; Christ Lutheran Kindergarten, Amarillo, Texas; Early Childhood Education/Kindergarten Yokota, Johnson Air Base, Japan; Mescalero Indian Reservation; and Tularosa Elementary School. With the exception of one year, she taught kindergarten throughout her career.
She was an active member of the New Mexico National Education Association where she was the president of the Tularosa NEA for several terms. She was also a member of the Tularosa Chapter Beta Sigma Phi sorority and the Alamogordo Chapter Beta Sigma Phi and she held a variety of offices in both towns.
She enjoyed gardening while residing in southern New Mexico using local plants, flowers and also non-native varieties. Her other joy was attracting hummingbirds to her garden for all to enjoy.
As the desire to donate her remains for medical research was not fulfilled due to the Christmas holidays, cremation will take place with a memorial service tentatively scheduled for July 2012 to be held at Christ Lutheran Church, Shattuck,. The family has entrusted the Mason Funeral Home of Shattuck with their services and support for her memorial service.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Jan. 10 to Feb. 10, 2012
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