Howard Franklin Braden died June 6, 2021, in Salina, KS. He was 71.
Howard is survived by his wife of 48 years, Janice Marie (Schnittker) Braden; and three children, Heather Ramanauskas and husband Peter of Chicago, Adrianne Conley and husband Arthur of Olathe, and Skyler Braden and partner Ashley Lawson of Salina. Howard (aka Papa) loved his four grandchildren dearly: Darianne (21), AJ (17), Braden (14) and Jannelle Conley (11).
He is survived by two sisters and two brothers; Roma Jackson, husband Steve, of Baldwin City, KS; Belinda Kerschen, husband Tom, of Wichita, KS; John Braden, companion Claudia, of Kingman, KS; and Victor Braden, wife Marla, of Lawrence, KS.
Howard was born in Pratt, Kansas on September 10, 1949, to Loren and Anne Braden and grew up in Pratt. Howard enlisted in the Army in 1968, serving with the 113th Military Intelligence Group, achieving the rank of SP4. He was honorably discharged in 1971. After serving his country, Howard attended Pratt County Community College. Fate had a hand in Howard meeting his future wife while at school. They were married August 12, 1972.
Howard was a legendary man. He was a Store Manager for Skaggs and later Osco Drug at many locations across Kansas and Missouri including Wichita, Topeka, St. Joseph, and Kansas City. He believed in all, followed by many.
Howard faced many medical challenges in his life but was a fighter against all odds. Medical advances were made because of him.
Howard loved hunting and fishing when not spending time with his family. Along with outdoor activities, he discovered a passion for wood carving when told to find a hobby. He would “whittle away” late into the night. Masterpieces are now found in numerous homes with a “rocking HB” carved in the bottom.
Mr. Braden, “Howie”, “Dancing Bear”, or “the greatest man we ever knew”, had a way of embellishing stories (in a good way) for the greater good. And in case you were wondering, Santa Claus does exist.
The family is planning a celebration of Howard’s life in July.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Howard’s honor may be made to Salina Parks and Recreation, in care of Ryan Mortuary, 137 N 8th St, Salina, KS, 67401. Memorials will be used for improvements to handicap accessible fishing and recreation, including Lakewood Park.