Karl Braatz went home to the Lord on July 20, 2011. He was born on a homestead near Opheim, Mont. on Jan. 12, 1922 to William and Anna Braatz. He and his family moved to Marshfield, Wis. when he was seven, where he lived until his high school graduation. After high school he moved to Milwaukee and began his apprenticeship as a tool and die maker.
He entered the military in 1943, was a navigator in the Army Air Corps during World War II, then returned and lived in Milwaukee, Wis. There he met and married his best friend and one true love, Teresa (Terry) Braatz. They raised their three children while he worked for 25 years at International Harvester, then 15 years at Allis Chalmers as a process engineer. Karl was a wonderful father, who lived his faith and created beautiful memories.
They retired to Mooresville, N.C. in January 1981 and began traveling more until deciding to sell their home in 1988 and travel full time in their RV. They enjoyed working with Laborer's for Christ building churches and friendships. Their first Laborer's project was in Sierra Vista, Ariz., building Immanuel Lutheran Church, where they learned that an RV park was being built in nearby Benson by Escapees (SKP). They purchased a lot but continued working with Laborer's and traveling throughout the country. After many wonderful years of memories and adventures they were grateful to settle with their SKP friends and Peace in the Valley family, letting everyone know this was the best place to be, surrounded by love. Karl and Terry felt blessed to help build their church in Benson as a true labor of love and continue to worship there.
Karl will be remembered for his deep faith, his devotion to his wife, his keen sense of humor, and his appreciation for all God's blessings. At every stage of their lives Karl and Terry could be heard saying, "These really are the best years of our lives."
Karl will be missed by all who knew him and loved that ever present twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes.
He is survived by his wife, Teresa, his children, David (Linda), Richard (Karen), and Debra, his grandchildren, Ashley, David, Connor, Mackenzie, Sarah (Lloyd Sheffer), Joshua, and Katherine (Neil Olsen), his great-granddaughter Alexis and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 6 at 11 a.m. at Peace in the Valley Lutheran Church on J-6 Ranch Road, Benson, Ariz. Memorials may be given to Peace in the Valley towards the church addition Karl had hoped to help build.
Originally published by the San Pedro Valley Sun News and reposted here to ensure that its continued availability.