Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Rest in Peace: Deacon ‘Brownie’ Braungardt

the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 21, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Deacon “Brownie” Braungardt (IR file photo)

Deacon Derwood “Brownie” Braungardt, a member of the first deacon ordination class for the Diocese of Spokane, died Sept. 17 at the age of 86.

The vigil and rosary were prayed the evening of Sept. 29 at St. John Vianney Church, Spokane Valley. The funeral Mass was celebrated there the next day.

He was born in Old Monroe, Mo., and served in the Army Air Force during World War II. The family moved to Spokane in the 1940s.

Brownie worked for many years for the Northern Pacific and Burlington Northern Railroad. He retired after 30 years.

He was a member of the first deacon class ordained for the Spokane Diocese, on June 3, 1978. His diaconal ministry was devoted to St. John Vianney Parish, where he created and administered the Poverty Fund, to help those seeking assistance from the parish.

Deacon John Sicilia, Director of Deacons for the Spokane Diocese, described Deacon Braungardt as “a very devoted man to his wife, family, God, and country.”

He said Deacon Braungardt was “liked by all who ever had the opportunity to come in contact with him – and very devoted to the service of the poor and those in need.”

Father Charles Skok worked with Deacon Braungardt for some 18 years at St. John Vianney.

Deacon Braungardt “was very, very good,” said Father Skok. “When I first arrived at the parish, he was the one in charge of the buildings and grounds. He also started the Poverty Fund, and was there in the office from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. five days a week. He knew everybody who called for help.”

Father Skok described Deacon Braungardt as “really down to earth. Very practical, very humble, very smart, very lively. He didn’t like any pretense at all.”

His wife, Amelia, preceded him in death in 2007.

He is survived by daughters Linda Denning (Larry), and JoAnn Butterfield (Jim); eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter.

Memorial contributions may be made to the St. John Vianney Parish Poverty Fund.


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