Ralph Braymen 1937 - 2021 Ralph Melvin Braymen passed away early Saturday morning, March 6, 2021, at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha after being life flighted from Shenandoah Wednesday, March 3. Ralph suffered a devastating brain stem injury as the result of a fall on his tractor. He died as he lived, working outside on his beloved farm. Ralph was born February 3, 1937, in the family home in Morton Township in Page County, Iowa. Except for a few years in high school and in the Air Force as a young man, Ralph lived on Lone Rock Farm all his life. His parents were the late Bert L. Braymen and Helen Winfrey Braymen, who met when Helen came to Lone Rock School from Des Moines as a teacher. Ralph was one of ten children, of whom only Donald and Anna, the oldest and the youngest, remain. Brothers and sisters Katherine, Paul, Mary, Grace, Allan, Ruth, and Patricia are deceased. The family has always been very close, holding annual reunions for over 50 years. Across the road from the family home was Lone Rock School, which Ralph and his siblings attended through 8th grade. Ralph graduated from Shenandoah High School in 1955, with classmates who have remained staunch friends throughout the years. Immediately after high school, Ralph joined the Air Force and served for four years as a Radio Relay Equipment Repairman. He was stationed in South Korea for one year and later at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina. While at Pope, Ralph traveled with a fellow Airman to the friend's home in Maryland, where Ralph was set up on a blind date. The blind date was Judith Carolyn Miller of Glenn Dale, Maryland, and the two were married two years later on January 2, 1960. Judith moved to Iowa with Ralph to begin their life on the family farm, where they lived and worked together for over 61 years. Ralph became a member of St John's Episcopal Church in Shenandoah, serving faithfully wherever he was needed, particularly as a lay reader, junior and senior warden, greeter, groundskeeper, and general handyman. Ralph could fix just about anything, and he used his skills at church, on the farm, and anywhere he could be of service. He enjoyed the challenge of figuring out the best way to solve a problem, and he had lots of opportunities to test his ingenuity throughout his life and career as a farmer. Ralph and Judy have the 160-acre family farm where they have raised corn and soybeans, cattle and hogs, and Ralph's primary crop in the past several years, hay. He had many loyal hay customers and took pride in providing good quality hay, which was labor-intensive but provided him freedom from volatile grain markets. Ralph also had a 20-year career as a federal employee of the former Soil Conservation Service (now Natural Resources Conservation Service); he knew Page County and Southwest Iowa thoroughly, having surveyed and laid out many terraces, grassed waterways, and tile. He was a member of the Tarkio Valley Antique Tractor Club and a longtime clerk of Morton Township. It would be hard to find someone more invested in his community. Surviving Ralph are his wife, Judith; daughter Sybil Sasaki of Fayetteville, North Carolina; son Joel Braymen (Jo Ellen) of El Paso, Texas; daughter Gail Braymen (Don Weber) of Lometa, Texas; grandchildren Benjamin Sasaki (Valerie); Anne Sasaki (Alex Santiago); Adam Drake; Sophia Braymen; and great-grandchildren Emi and Mei Santiago and Jack and Teddy Sasaki; brother Donald; sister Anna Borup (Roger); sister-in-law Pauline Braymen; brother-in-law Bob Fitz; sister-in-law Elsa Shartsis; brother- and sister-in-law Anthony and Joanne Miller; and many nieces and nephews. Passing away before him was great-grandson Kai Santiago. A memorial service will be planned for a later date to be announced. Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.hackettlivingston.com
. Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home was honored to have been entrusted with the arrangements.
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Published by Shenandoah Valley News Today on Mar. 13, 2021.