Thelma Branaugh

Obituary of Thelma May Branaugh


Thelma May Branaugh, age 93 of Yankton, SD passed away Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at Avera Sister James Care Center, Yankton, SD. 

Thelma was born on May 6, 1924 to Odin and Cora Moen in southeastern Minnesota. When Thelma was an infant, her mother passed away, so she was raised by extended family members until the age of 5 when her dad married her stepmother, Viola.  Thelma attended a one room country school house and graduated from Spring Grove High School.   Following graduation, she took off for California with her girlfriends to work in the ship yards as a welding inspector during WWII. She married Billie Hein in 1947 and worked in Madison, SD at a creamery. Billie passed away in 1955. Thelma married Charles Showers in 1960 and provided a loving home for Charles’ children, Bill and Linda. Thelma and Charles enjoyed fishing wherever they lived and traveled. Thelma married James Branaugh on January 19, 1980 at Christ Church Episcopal, and they enjoyed nearly 27 years of marriage. Thelma welcomed Jim’s grown children, Jeff, Robin, Greg and Marc, into her life.

Thelma was a whiz with numbers and worked using that love of numbers at Battin Electric, Gurneys, and volunteering as church treasurer. She always had a sense of remembering the exact year she bought an appliance and what she paid for it to the penny. Thelma enjoyed working on crosswords, jig saw puzzles, growing African violets and philodendrons, crocheting afghans and creating doilies, embroidering dish towels,  working in the garden with Jim, and spending time with family.  She looked forward to trips to Minnesota to visit her sisters and brothers. Thelma always had fresh baked cookies for Jim and for anyone else that came to visit. You would always know that her brother, Chester was coming when there was black licorice in the candy jar.  She spent many years volunteering at her church and chairing the bake sale for Christmas in July. Thelma loved the times that she spent with Linda and Suzi shopping for new clothes and jewelry. She also loved spending time with her cat Felix.  Thelma was active in the VFW and served as President of the Women’s Auxiliary. She and Jim spent many Saturday nights having supper and dancing at the VFW followed by Sunday nights enjoying root beer floats and popcorn with Jim’s sister Mae and brother Budge.  She was well known among her children and grandchildren for her canned beets and pickles and her creamy mashed potatoes. 

Thelma is survived by Bill (Suzi) Showers, Tabor, SD; Linda (Jim) Winterringer, Yankton, SD; Jeff (Deanna) Branaugh, Yankton, SD; Robin (Joe) Tischler, Sioux Falls, SD; Greg (Denise) Branaugh, Sioux Falls, SD. She is survived by 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 2 great- great- grandsons.  She is also survived by three sisters, Donna Otterness, Spring Grove, MN; Beverly Housker, Spring Grove, MN; and Patricia (Ted) Tweito, Georgia. Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, sister Virginia Oakes, brothers Chester, Thomas, Stanley, and Vernon Moen. She was preceded in death by her husbands, step-son Marc Branaugh and a great granddaughter.  The family wishes to thank Autumn Winds, Yankton Care Center and Majestic Bluffs Chalkstone Unit for their loving care and friendships.

Memorials in her name will be donated to Christ Church Episcopal of Yankton and the VFW Auxiliary of Yankton.