Joan Marie Brakeman, 78, of Gordon Neb., passed away on Friday, June 23, 2023 at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital, surrounded by her family. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer the same week she passed away.
Joan was born on June 16, 1945 in Gordon, Neb. to Harold and Beulah (Hill) Forster. After graduation from Gordon High School in 1963, Joan began working at the Chevy dealership in Gordon. Joan married the love of her life, Errol E. Brakeman on June 11, 1967. The couple moved to Omaha Neb. where Errol worked for the Omaha World Herald. While in Omaha, their daughter Shelley was born. In 1968, the couple moved back to Gordon, and in 1971, their son Jonathan was born.
Joan worked for many downtown businesses in her career, but her favorite was always Shald’s Market. There, she enjoyed her job as bookkeeper for the store, and even received an award from ShurFine corporate operations for being the most accurate bookkeeper in their system. After leaving Shald’s, Joan again worked for a couple other businesses, but then landed at the Presbyterian Church as the church secretary, where she worked until her retirement. There, she was able to do the things she loved—talking with visitors and correcting grammar for the newsletter!
In 2017, Joan decided to move to Parkview Lodge in Rushville, NE. She loved living there, and the staff and residents loved her like family. Joan had an infectious smile and laugh, and made friends wherever she went. Her love of word games and the English language was unmatched.
Survivors include her children, Shelley (Mick) Dragoo of Lead, S.D., Jonathan (Sonya) Brakeman of Seward, Neb.; grandchildren, Kaman Dragoo of Belle Fourche, S.D., Sky (Amy) Dragoo of Spearfish, S.D., and Savana Brakeman of Lincoln, Neb.; great grandchildren Rose Dragoo of Belle Fourche, S.D. and Nolan Dragoo of Spearfish, S.D.; siblings, Etta (Ed) Wilder of Broken Bow, Neb., Alan (Roxane) Forster of Hemingford, Neb., and Faye McCune of Castle Rock, Colo.; special Scrabble partner and friend Dar Sayers; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Joan was preceded in death by her parents, brother Ward Forster and her husband Errol.
Memorial services will be held September 2, 2023 at 10:30am at the First Presbyterian Church in Gordon, NE. Memorials in Joan’s name may be sent to: Parkview Lodge Assisted Living, c/o Hannah Graham, 307 Conrad Street, Rushville, NE 69360.