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BraaschRed     Celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and the life of Leroy R. T. “Red” Braasch will be held on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hope Lutheran Church in rural Smithfield, Nebraska with Reverend Jeff Cottingham, STS officiating. Inurnment will be held in the Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Gosper County, Nebraska following the services. A luncheon and celebration of life will follow in the fellowship hall.
     Leroy Raymond Thomas “Red” Braasch, 75 years of age, of rural Smithfield, Nebraska, passed away on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege, Nebraska. Red was born on September 16, 1940 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the eldest of three sons born to Ulrich Julius and Lauretta Meta (Holzshuh) Braasch. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Manitowoc. Red began his education at Immanuel Lutheran School in Manitowoc and then graduated high school from Lincoln High School in Manitowoc. He then pursued higher education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied Animal Science.
     On December 16, 1966 he was united in marriage to Catherine Irene Hopkins at the Zion Lutheran Church in San Luis Obispo, California and to this union one daughter, Sara was born.
     Prior to beginning his own ranch, he was well known for his work with some of the leading U.S. registered Angus cattle herds. At the time of his death, he was retired, but remained active raising sheep and cattle at the family ranch South of Smithfield. Along with his wife, and late daughter, they established the Braasch Suffolk Flock in 1973. The family enjoyed raising, exhibiting, and marketing registered Suffolk Sheep throughout the U.S.
     Red’s passion in life was truly being a Rancher; particularly his Suffolk sheep flock was his avocation as well as his occupation. He also loved volunteering as a 4-H leader and coach for FFA livestock judging teams. He was recognized for his service to FFA with honorary chapter farmer degrees from schools in California and Idaho. In his retirement years, Red enjoyed assisting seasonally with harvest at CHS CO-OP in Smithfield.
     He was a lifelong Lutheran, who served his church in many capacities including: Church Council, chair of the Board of Elders, and as a Trustee of congregations in Montana and Washington State. Since moving to Nebraska, he was a member of the Hope Lutheran Church, where he made many friendship bonds throughout the years.
     Besides his parents; Red was preceded in death by his daughter, Sara Braasch Schmidt in June of 2016 and one brother, Daniel Braasch.
     He leaves to celebrate his life; his wife of almost 50 years, Rev. Dr. Cathi Braasch, STS of rural Smithfield; son-in-law, Jim Schmidt of McCall, Idaho; one brother, Ronald Braasch and his wife, Bonnie of Rochester, Minnesota; sister-in-law, Elaine Braasch of Manitowoc; several nieces and nephews, his wife’s extended family and many friends.
     Memorial book signing will be held on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with the family greeting from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege.
     A memorial has been established in Red’s honor and kindly suggested to the “I Believe in the Future of Ag Program”, designated to the BerMis FFA Chapter; c/o the Nebraska FFA Foundation; to the Hope Lutheran Church or to the Bertrand Fire and Rescue.
     Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com
     The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of the arrangements.