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August 10, 2018 June 23, 2014
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Barbara "Barb" Adeline Branae, a devoted mother, patient and loving wife, and gracious and loyal friend to all who knew her, passed away peacefully on June 23, 2014 at the Pioneer Medical Center in Big Timber; she was 95. Barbara was born August 10, 1918 to Samuel and Emma (Pederson) Duffey, the first of six children. She was born east of Big Timber in a small cabin on Upper Deer Creek, a mere mile from the cabin where her husband Helmar was born. The ranch and cabin are still in the Duffey family and hold treasured memories. After completing "country school," and then graduating from SGHS, Barbara attended MSU (now U of M) in Missoula and Eastern MT Normal School (now MSU-B) in Billings, studying to become a teacher. She was always proud to be a product of "country school" and frequently pointed out the many country kids on the honor roll when they transitioned to SGHS. After college, she returned to Sweet Grass County and taught at Otter Creek School and Bridger Creek School. Miss Duffey's students adored her as she was a natural nurturer, encourager, and educator. On June 1, 1943, Barb married Helmar Branae, a blessed union that lasted 63 years. They ranched on Big Timber Creek and Otter Creek for thirty years, raising their three children. Barb embraced her role as a ranch wife and mother, helping with sewing and piano, caring for the sheep, and killing rattlesnakes with a shovel, when needed. In the 1960s, Mrs. Branae attended summer sessions at MSU in Bozeman to renew her teaching certificate. This allowed her to teach at Bridge School and Rapstad School to help pay for her children's college educations. Then, in 1973, she and Helmar moved into Big Timber where Barbara enjoyed her time working at Cole Drug. Barbara was very involved in the community. She was active in the Big Timber Lutheran Church, served as a 4-H leader, belonged to Sons of Norway and her sewing club, and served as a docent at the Crazy Mountain Museum. Barbara was an avid reader and loved to cook, especially frying Helmar's daily catches and even making him lutefisk. She was always interested in politics and current events, and was open to and considered all perspectives. She and Helmar loved to dance and square dance, play cards, and visit friends. They enjoyed traveling in later years including trips to Alaska, Hawaii, and two trips to Norway, though regrettably never made it to Ireland. Barbara will be especially remembered for her quick wit, poised demeanor, and her incessant patience and positive outlook. She served all those around her willingly and graciously. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Helmar; brothers Ed, John, and Dave and sister, Martha Shipton. She is survived by her children Gary (Linda) Branae of Vancouver, WA; Shirley (Dick) Wiegand of Fairbanks, AK; and Karen (Jim) Graham of Chester, MT; 7 grandchildren, Shannon, Shane, Shawn, Sarah, Amy, Jeff and Jamie, and 15 great-grandchildren, with one more due in August. She is also survived by her sister, Alice Gottlob, of Three Forks and many nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place and services will be held 11:00 A.M. Monday June 30, 2014 at the Big Timber Lutheran Church. Private family services will also be held July 6 at a family reunion on Flathead Lake. Memorials in Barbara's name may be made to the Big Timber Lutheran Church, PO Box 278, the Crazy Mountain Museum, PO Box 83, Big Timber, MT 59011 or to a charity of one's choice. The family would like to thank Boulder Meadows Assisted Living and the Pioneer Medical Center for their care and support.


11:00 A.M. MONDAY JUNE 30, 2014


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