Lemuel A. "Tony" Braunagel, 80, a longtime businessman of the Lake Region area, passed away on Monday evening, Dec. 9, 2013, at the Heartland Care Center in Devils Lake in the loving care of his family and friends.
Lemuel Anton, son of Nick and Margaret (Gatch) Braunagel, was born on June 15, 1933, in Spartanburg, S.C. His grandparents from the Baden-Baden area of Russia homesteaded in the Harvey area and that is how Tony came to be reared and educated in both South Carolina and North Dakota. He graduated from Devils Lake Central High School with the class of 1952. Furthering his education at Jamestown College, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics.
Tony began working for Boeing shortly after he graduated, and as an engineer with the company, this afforded many years of travel within the United States and also overseas. His career with Boeing would extend more than 20 years.
Tony married Myrna Dickinson in 1956 and they were the proud parents of two children, Mindy and Drew. They established their home in Florida but eventually moved to Devils Lake, where he made his home until his death.
While work definitely kept Tony in the air or on the road, he also farmed the Maherwood Farm in Ramsey County. This was a job that many times had to be done on the weekends, but one he treasured. Tony also earned his real estate license and was the owner and operator of Dakota Prairie Real Estate. Tony also found time to serve as a substitute teacher of geometry at Devils Lake High School.
Tony was always involved in a project somewhere and even up until three months before his death, he was keeping up with all the challenges of running a business and farming.
Tony was always very active in the community, serving on many boards, as an entrepreneur and as a mentor to many. He refurbished and remodeled to open the "End of the Line" and operated it with his son, Drew, and Dick Regan. He was involved in the formation of many housing subdivisions in the Devils Lake area, including an early partnership in Eagle Bend with Allan Thompson and Larry Heit, and later the Elk Horn, Knuckles and Sky Hawk subdivisions.
He served on the Wheat Commission, Durum Growers, L.A.N.D., and the Water Board for many years. He proudly served as a city commissioner and was a life member of Melbourne Lodge in Florida and the Devils Lake Elks Lodge, Masonic Lodge, Shrine and Lake Region Flag Corps. He served in the United States Army, stateside, and later joined the American Legion and 40 & 8.
Anyone who knew Tony knew they could find him at most any auction sale held in the state if there was an anvil on the sale bill. He now had more than 100 anvils in his collection.
Tony loved the outdoors, in the summer he loved sailing and in the winter he loved to snow ski and many other outdoor activities year round. He treasured the many trips he was able to take his grandchildren on through the years and this created a very special bond with them. He knew how harsh winters could be on the wildlife and made it a point to feed the birds and deer. He was an animal lover and he always had his faithful canine companions, Dixie and Savannah, at his side.
Tony's loving family includes: his daughter, Mindy, and her husband Merle Presler, of Oakes, and her children and Tony's grandchildren, Crystal (Joao Paulo) Casaroti, of Baton Rouge, La., and Lawrence Whitaker, of Fargo; daughter-in-law, Judy Braunagel, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and her children and Tony's grandchildren, Shannon Marie (Chris) Krakow, Ryan (Megan) Braunagel and Tyson (Sheri) Braunagel, also all of Colorado Springs; his beloved Cheryl Strande of Devils Lake and her children who were very special to Tony, Cherilyn (Clint Devier) Strande, also Devils Lake, Jay (Jenn) Strande, Pine Island, Minn., and Shannon (Steve) Hanson, of Fargo; grandchildren, Amanda Anderson, Shelbi Bryl, Kaitlyn Bryl, Nathan Hanson, Heather (Cory) Grover, Tucker Strande and Harley Strande; great-grandchildren, Jaxon, Jonas, Avery, Everett and Cullin; mother, Margaret Braunagel, of Devils Lake; brother, Patrick (JoAnn) Braunagel, of Redding, Calif., and niece, Beth Gonzalez, and nephew, Brian (Julieana) Braunagel.
He was preceded in death by his father, Nick, and son, Drew.
Funeral services for Tony will be held today, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m., at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, with Pastor Kevin Kaufmann, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Devils Lake, officiating.
Visitation was held on Friday, Dec. 13, from 4 to 9 p.m., at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake. Visitation will continue today at the church one hour prior to the funeral service.
Burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery, with Military Honors accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post #756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team.
Casket Bearers for Tony will be his godson, Wade Olson, Trent Tarvestad, Tom Traynor, Dick Prozinski, Tony Nordine, Kevin Frith, Al Freidig and Lori Frith.
Music will be provided by Rick Senger and Lynda Pearson, pianist.