Mr. Paul Francis Braun, age 86 years, of Wardsville, Mo., passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 20, 2020, at Westphalia Hills Nursing Home.
He was born on April 27, 1934 in Osage Bend, Mo., the son of Ernest R. and Antoinette “Nettie” (Cassmeyer) Braun. He was married on September 15, 1962 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Wardsville, Mo. to Pauline Derkum. She preceded him in death on May 15, 2016.
Paul was drafted into the United States Army in December of 1956. He proudly served our country during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in December of 1958. He received his GED while serving in the military.
When Paul returned home from his military deployment, he began working in construction. He then began his 28-year career with the United States Postal Service as a Rural Mail Carrier from which he retired in 1994. Paul also worked as a custodian and maintenance worker for St. Stanislaus Catholic Church and School for many years and was a volunteer fireman with the Osage Bend, Wardsville and Taos Fire Department.
Paul was the epidemy of an outdoorsman and spent as much time as possible in nature. He enjoyed planting, maintaining and harvesting his elaborate vegetable garden, camping and relaxing on a lake, pond or riverbank with a line out. He had a passion for hunting and trapping as well, and took immense pride in traveling to share his knowledge and teach others his tricks of the trapping trade. Paul trapped, cleaned and tanned a lot of his own hides and even held sales at his own home for trappers in the area to gather and sell hides to buyers who traveled there. He visited many schools and conventions over the years and shared a vast amount of insight. The role he cherished most was his role as a mentor. Paul was a bit ornery and was often given away by his sly grin. He enjoyed sharing his family history and the many stories he told earned him the nickname “Windy”. He was a self-sufficient jack of all trades, He raised, dried and smoked or chewed his own tobacco, was a talented wood worker making intricate pieces to donate and give back to the many organizations he participated in and even built the home he shared with his wife of 53 years. Paul was a one of a kind, salt of the earth kind of man and he will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Paul was a member of the Rural Carriers Association and the Catholic Financial Fraternal Organization. He was also a member of the National Trappers Association, the Missouri Trappers Association and a life member of the National Rifle Association. He earned his place in the Missouri Trappers Association Hall of Fame for his service as a dedicated member and mentor in the organization.
Survivors include: his sister, Ann Lairmore of Osage Bend, Mo.; his sister-in-law, Bernice Benton of Wardsville, Mo.; two brothers-in-law, Richard Prenger of Taos, Mo. and Norman Derkum of Jefferson City, Mo.; and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Paul was preceded in death by: his wife: Pauline Braun; his parents: Ernest and Nettie Braun; his brother, Richard Braun; two sisters-in-law, Betty Braun and Mary Ann Prenger; and two brothers-in-law, Floyd Lairmore and Jim Benton.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm Monday, August 24, 2020, A prayer service will be held prior to the visitation at 4:00 pm.
Mass of Christian burial will be conducted at 1:00 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Wardsville, Mo. with The Reverend I.C. Medina officiating. Graveside services and interment with military honors will be held at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, Hospice Compassus, or the Missouri Trappers Association.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.