Dec. 23, 2020 — Albert James Brauer (also known as Abe, Abie, Al and AJ), 90, passed away peacefully Dec. 17, 2020, at his beloved home on Woahink Lake, cared for by his family — one day shy of his 91st birthday.
He was born Dec. 18, 1929, and was raised in Norfolk, Neb., the third of four children of Dr. Siegfried and Pauline Brauer.
Some of Albert’s special memories growing up in Nebraska were holidays with family, flying with his dad piloting his plane, and taking care of and riding horses on his dad’s ranch.
He graduated from Norfolk Senior High in 1947 and attended his freshman year at University of Nebraska. He was drawn to “go west” after seeing train travel advertisements and, with his mother’s support, headed to University of Oregon as a sophomore and graduated in 1951.
He met his wife-to-be, Alice Marie Maier at Grace Lutheran Church in Eugene, where Alice’s father was the pastor. Albert and Alice married in 1952 after his first year at University of Nebraska School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1955.
After his internship at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, Oregon and residency at Contra Costa County Hospital in Martinez, California, he was commissioned into the U.S. Navy — Fleet Marine Force as a Lieutenant-Medical Officer stationed in Hawaii and served 1957-58 until an unexpected critical need for another physician in Florence, Ore., changed the course of his life.
Albert arrived in Florence in August 1958 with Alice and their first three children, with a fourth on the way. By 1961, the family had grown to six children.
In 1964, the family moved to a new home on Woahink Lake that was a beloved place in Albert’s heart and life, a small farm that provided him with many projects for “getting his hands dirty,” driving his tractor and providing an opportunity for his children to learn responsibility, the value of hard work and new skills.
Albert practiced as a General Practitioner physician for more than 30 years and was an active civic leader for decades, serving on numerous community boards (hospital, churches, educational institutions, foundations, bank, etc.)
He will be remembered as a visionary leader who thought big and was committed to do the work to meet project goals to expand or improve community services and educational opportunities in western Lane County.
He was also a proud Rotarian of several decades. Albert was recognized with many honors and awards over the years, from Florence’s very first First Citizen (1967) to Grand Marshal of the Rhododendron Festival Parade (2018).
As a physician, he was known as an expert general surgeon, dedicated to giving compassionate care to his patients, even providing house calls as needed.
His life also revolved around New Life Lutheran Church and its members, supporting his church family through leadership roles, offering adult Sunday classes and visiting home-bound members.
His Christian faith grounded his life path and decisions.
In 1970, Albert fulfilled a lifelong dream to do medical mission work with his first trip to Kenya. While in Kenya in 1972, Albert and Alice were in a serious car accident that took Alice’s life and resulted in serious injuries to Albert, leading to multiple surgeries.
During his hospital stay in Kenya, he was cared for by Catherine Miskella, a Catholic nun and nurse from Ireland. They subsequently fell in love and married in 1973.
Beyond an abundant life in Florence and medical mission work in Kenya, they enjoyed traveling together, with frequent visits to Nebraska, England and Ireland to visit family, along with many international trips.
Albert particularly enjoyed traveling to historical places, such as the Panama Canal and Omaha Beach, France. Albert and Catherine were happily married for more than 40 years until her death in 2016.
Albert loved his family, raising his children in the Lutheran Church, and ensured they all worked hard in school and received college degrees (more than 40 years of higher education between them).
He particularly enjoyed the more than 35 years of annual Brauer Family gatherings with his children and grandchildren and, in recent years, also included his great-grandchildren.
He loved visits from his grandchildren and, when they were old enough, was happy to include them on various work projects around the Woahink Lake property, like mowing the giant lawns, cutting down trees and stacking wood, or monitoring mole traps.
Albert and his grandchildren had a mutual love of teasing each other and they will sorely miss him.
In recent years he enjoyed the loving companionship of Dianna Barry.
Albert is survived by his six children: Al (Kory), Becky (Rex), Gretchen (Dave), James (Jan), Melissa and John (Suzanne); he also leaves behind grandchildren: Patrick (René), Aaron (Amber), Alayna, Matt (Amandine), Clare (Ryan), Andrew, Kelsey, Nate, Ali, Alison and William; great-grandchildren: Tate, Maeve, Evan, Cole, Leo, Drew and a yet-to-be-born great-granddaughter.
He is also survived by his brother, Siegfried (Zeke) Brauer, and sister, Virginia Raasch.
Albert was predeceased by his brother Richard (Dick) Brauer; wives Alice and Catherine; and a much-loved daughter-in-law, Lenise.
A Virtual Memorial Service will be held Saturday Jan. 9, 2021, at 11 a.m. (PST.)
Email ajbrauermemorial @gmail.com to request access information.
Everyone is welcome.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Dr. Albert J. Brauer Memorial Fund at Western Lane Community Foundation, PO Box 1589, Florence, OR 97439.
The fund will assist students with tuition to complete their programs at Lane Community College.
Send check made out to Western Lane Community Foundation with Dr. Albert J. Brauer Memorial Fund on the memo line.
Please visit Albert’s online memorial site to read a full story of his life, look at and share photos, your stories and memories of Albert at www.forevermissed.com/albert-james-brauer.
MART—Sharon D. Mart, 77, of Florence, Ore., formerly of Oakridge, Ore., passed away Dec. 2, 2020.
She is survived by her three children: Gary Mart, Dean Mart and Michelle Mart; six grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and sister Shellee Callaway.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dale and Geneva Halladey; sister Karen Harrod; and daughter Carla Mart.