Nancy Ruth (Thomas) Braun, beloved wife of Dr. Robert B. Braun, of Fairfield, passed away after a short illness, with her family by her side on December 21, 2021.
Born on March 28, 1929 in Elizabeth, NJ, Nancy was raised in Waukesha, WI, where her family owned the Thomas Press. She attended Carroll College and completed her registered nurse training at Chicago-Presbyterian Hospital. She had always planned to be a nurse from age 7 when she was hospitalized with scarlet fever and found the nurses very friendly and supportive. As a registered nurse, Nancy worked as a railroad stewardess on the Illinois Central Line. She later enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a duty nurse achieving the rank of first lieutenant.
Her love story with Robert, a naturalized immigrant from Austria, started during the Korean War, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where Robert served as a dentist and Nancy as a nurse. They were later stationed at Camp Eta Jima in Japan where they married and where their first son, Thomas, was born.
After their military service Nancy and Robert settled in Bridgeport and then in Fairfield where they raised their 6 children together. She was especially close to her grandchildren, and took great interest in their lives and accomplishments. Nancy was a calming influence, with a quiet strength and a caring manner to all who knew her. She loved being with her family in her home, where she and Robert hosted joyful annual family reunions combining both sides of the extended family as it expanded over the decades. Nancy was a welcoming presence for friends and relatives and was the ‘mother’ to numerous family pets of all types. She was an adept gardener, growing and nurturing vegetable and flower gardens, and planting trees and shrubs. A lifelong learner, Nancy earned her bachelor’s degree in her 50’s from Sacred Heart University. She taught remedial reading and environmental education in inner city schools and volunteered at the Connecticut Audubon Society and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and was active in the Greenfield Hill Garden Club and the League of Women Voters. Nancy was a nature lover, bird watcher, and an adventure seeker, encouraging the family to take hiking and backpacking trips, ultimately scaling Mount Whitney and Mount Rainier. She and Robert traveled together to Africa, along the Silk Road, the Amazon River basin, the Galapagos Islands and Papua New Guinea.
In addition to her loving husband of 67 years, Robert B. Braun, Nancy will be greatly missed by her five children, Thomas Braun and wife Jae, Kathryn Braun, Jennifer Braun, David Braun and wife Becky Nelson, and Betsy Mendelsohn and husband Eric; her six grandchildren Leah (Braun) Johnson, Max Braun, Gerald Braun, Zev Braun, Franklin Mendelsohn, and Imogen Mendelsohn; her great-grandson Henry Johnson; her sister Barbara (Thomas) Thwaites; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her daughter Laura Grace Braun.
Nancy will be deeply missed by all family and friends. Friends and family are invited to gather on Monday, December 27, 2021 from 10:30 to 11:30am at the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield. A memorial service will begin in the funeral home directly following visitation. All who are attending are asked to please wear a mask. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Nancy’s memory to the Connecticut Audubon Society, the League of Women Voters or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Friends and Family who would like to attend the service virtually can do so through Zoom:
Time: Dec 27, 2021 11:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 848 7798 1382