Joe Braswell, 88, a 40-year resident of Carson City, went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 22, 2008. He was born July 1, 1920 in Muskogee, Okla. to George F. and Katherine (Wolfe) Braswell.
As a young child, he traveled with his father part of the time with the Al G. Barnes Circus, which he fondly remembered. He lived for a while with his brother, Lee and also for a time with his sister, Pauline and her family. He attended several Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. As a young man, he was reunited with his mother and brothers, George and David.
During World War II he was in the Army Air Corps serving with the ground crew of the 451st Bomber Crew (H) in Italy.
After graduating from John Brown University, Joe served as a pastor for several different Indian Missions and Methodist Churches in Oklahoma. He also taught school for a short while, but soon found his life’s work in the field of social services. He served as a county welfare director for two counties in Oklahoma for about a decade.
He received a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona and worked as a social worker in Okalahoma, Arizona, California and Nevada. He was proud of his work as a state director of Social Services for the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, Inc., during the 70s. He also worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Phoenix as an assistant area director before retiring in 1984.
Joe is survived by his wife, Ruth; four children, George Leon (Karen) Braswell of Salina, Okla., David Lee Braswell of Pryor, Okla., Sharon Ruth (Leidy) Braswell-Zern of Burnsville, N.C. and Catherine Ann Braswell of Wichita, Kan.; eight grandchildren, John (Deana) Braswell of Baton Rouge, La., George Braswell of Norman, Okla., Jason (Mary Jo) Kuechenmeister of Marion, N.C., Joe Braswell of Wichita, Kan., Rebecca (Russell) Moore of Arden, N.C., Sandra Braswell of Wichita, Kan., Allison Braswell of Gallup, N.M. and Christine Braswell of Salina, Okla. ; five great-grandchildren, Brittany Hauck, of Wichita, Kan., Tawni, Alyssa, Hayli, Matthew Moore of Arden, N.C. and Joseph Braswell of Baton Rouge, La. and several nieces and nephews. Three children, an infant daughter, Delores and two sons, Paul Issac and Phillip James, preceded him in death.
Joe was an active member of Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church and treasured his relationship with God. He volunteered with FISH and with a respite hospice program. He enjoyed bowling, fishing and playing golf. He was a member of Kiwanis while in Oklahoma and was a life member of Sertoma. He also belonged to the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
We will remember Joe’s smile, his love for his family, his pride in being a Cherokee and above all, we will remember him as a praying man.
A special “Thank You” to St. Mary’s Hospice for their loving care and all of our friends and family who have prayed for us through the years.
Memorial services will be 1 p.m., Saturday at Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church. FitzHenry’s Funeral Home is caring for arrangements.