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Joyce L. Brader

January 16, 2024
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Joyce Brader Obituary


                Joyce LaRue Brader, 85, died January 16, 2024 with her husband of 63 years, Thomas Brader, daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Humphrey by Joyce’s side. Joyce struggled with MS for 44 years until it claimed her life.

               Born in Oklahoma City to parents Estle V. and Helen May (Pierce) Smith. She attended public schools along with her younger brother David. The family first moved to the Chicago area and then to Omaha, NE. She graduated from Benson high School and then graduated from Omaha University with BA and BFA degrees along with her Teachers Certificate.

               Along with her major in Art she took drama classes where she met her future husband Thomas when they played brother and sister in Thornron Wilder’s one-act play The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden. They later both appeared in Guy’s and Dolls and Call me Madam musicals. After graduation, Joyce taught Art at Westside Junior Highschool in Omaha for nine years.

               Joyce and Tom were married in 1961. The newlyweds honeymooned in Colorado, north of Clark at a wilderness lake called Gem Lake, reaching it by jeep and horseback. Later family Vacations included extended camping and fishing trips to Northern lakes in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada and trips to New York City and Washington DC. They had four children, Thomas II, Elizabeth (Humphrey), Sarah, RN (Kyle), Amanda and grandson Hutton. Joyce and Tom remained in Omaha until 1979 when they adventured to Montana, settling in Hamilton in the beautiful Bitterroot Mountains. She continued with her Artwork, opening a small co-op gallery and started the Bitterroot Arts Guild. In 1981 she created Daly Days, A Celebration of the Arts, featuring juried artists from the Northwest. In 1984, after learning the estate of Marcus and Margaret Daly was to be auctioned off, she and her husband, along with community volunteers, formed the Daly Mansion Preservation Trust, securing enough donations to purchase many of the family’s furnishings and the donation of two large Henry Cross paintings. A year later, after continued negotiations, fifty acres and the 25 bedroom, 15 bathroom mansion with 7 fire places was acquired by the State of Montana.

               Joyce joined Chapter AF of Hamilton PEO and then helped form a new chapter, BV, eventually becoming President and was later elected President of the Montana State Chapter. Joyce, through her brother’s research was invited to be a member of DAR after finding 12 verified patriots.

                She and her husband took two wandering vacations to Europe, England, Scotland and the Scandinavian countries. Her art history played an important part of the trip’s enjoyment. Annual hosting of Pitch Fork Fondu and Turkey Boil dinners brought dozens of friends and new acquaintances together. Her final years were spent quietly at home with her retired husband.

                She is survived by her husband Thomas, her children, grandson and brother, Dr. David (Kitty) Kentsmith. No services are planned at this time. A gathering for family and friends will be announced at a later date. Contributions in her memory may be made to PEO, Chapter BV, 2645 Home Acres, Stevensville, MT 59870 or a charity of your choice. Condolences may be left with Daly-Leach Chapel.

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