Kathleen L. Braun MONTPELIER — Kathleen Louise Braun, formerly of Norwich, died on March 10, 2021, at the age of 83, of Alzheimer’s disease. Kathy was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, on March 29, 1937, to Mabel Cecelia (Brown) and Howard Merritt Brickel. Growing up in Rapid City, Kathy was particularly close to her sister, Mary Ellen, with whom she rollerskated, sang and danced, including a short run as a duo called the Brickel Brats. Her best friend was Marlene “Toots” Taylor. Kathy married her high school sweetheart, Charles Louis "Chuck" Braun, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Rapid City on Aug. 10, 1958. Kathy excelled in languages and math. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1959, the only woman in her graduating class. Her first career was as a computer programmer for Minneapolis Honeywell. She led a team working on the Apollo moon mission, programming components of the lunar module. She enjoyed life with Chuck in Minneapolis and was proud of her early professional success. In 1963, she moved east with Chuck, who had earned a doctoral degree and enlisted in the Army. At an Army base in Alexandria, Virginia, she gave birth to her daughter, Sarah Kathryn Braun, in 1965. Shortly thereafter, Chuck began his long career as a chemistry professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where their son, David Charles Braun, was born in 1967. The young family settled in Norwich, Vermont, Kathy and Chuck’s home for nearly 50 years. Kathy enjoyed taking care of her home and family and entertaining her friends, Chuck’s colleagues and their families. She was vivacious, reveled in word play, and had an infinite reservoir of tunes at the ready. Her and Chuck’s circle of friends included many international chemists and their families, with whom they maintained lifelong correspondence. Once her children were older, she returned to work at Houghton Mifflin publishers in computer technical support. She also took piano, painting and dance classes. Her dance troupe, the Drawbacks, especially loved a master class on Broadway. She was fond of saying that she’d danced on Broadway and put a man on the moon. The great tragedy of Kathy’s life was the loss of her daughter, Sarah, on Sept. 10, 2000, at the age of 35, and the difficulties that preceded it. Kathy supported Chuck in every way as he became disabled from multiple sclerosis. She oversaw his medical care, adapted their home to accommodate his needs, and read or typed his papers. Later, her increasing memory loss became disabling and very frustrating to her. With the assistance of devoted caregivers, Kathy and Chuck remained together in their Norwich home until Chuck’s death in July 2018, whereupon she moved to Montpelier to be close to her son, David. She enjoyed excellent care and company at Heaton Woods Residence and time spent with David and his family. She continued to dance and sing to the delight of Heaton Woods residents and staff alike. Kathy leaves behind her son, David, with his wife, Michele, and their daughters, Eleanor and Louisa, of Montpelier; brothers-in-law, David and his wife, Ann, of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, Wayne and his wife, Susie, of Rapid City, and Warren and his wife, Stefani ,of Rapid City, and their children and grandchildren; nephews, Steve, Ken and David Buckingham and their families; and wonderful friends in the Upper Valley. A memorial celebration of Kathy’s life will be held in the summer at the Hillside Cemetery in Norwich, followed immediately by interment of her ashes. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Heaton Woods Activity Fund, 10 Heaton St., Montpelier, VT 05602.

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