Kathryn Bellman Braught died on Friday, October 4, 2019, in Norman, OK. She was born in the 9-acre rural Warren County, Iowa, home of her maternal grandparents on October 27, 1921, to parents Donald and Margaret (Glascock) Bellman. She grew up on an Iowa farm, and attended a one room country school. She followed her sister, Irene, to school and they let her stay; so she started high school at the age of 11. She attended Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, graduating in 1941. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, and was elected May Queen at Simpson College. Being a Methodist College, chapel attendance was required three days a week. The young man assigned to the seat next to her was Gene Braught, who became her husband in 1942. Kay taught Home Economics and Science in public schools for over 30 years, giving much credit for her college major to eight very active years in 4-H Club.
Coming to Norman in 1962 when Gene became band director of the Pride at OU, she finished her teaching career at Northeast H.S. in OKC and West (Alcott) in Norman. During Gene’s years with the Pride, she made many trips with the band, becoming a lifelong supporter of the Pride and OU football. The church was an important part of the Braught family’s life, and when house hunting in a new community, they also quickly found a new church home. Kay was active in United Methodist Women serving as Southwest Texas District Officer, and she served as President of both the First Methodist Church in Weslaco, TX, and McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman. Both Kay and Gene were very active in the McFarlin fellowship. Both served on many committees, and Kay started the wedding reception service at McFarlin. She was also an active member and officer in P.E.O., Friends of the Library, Coterie, and Fine Arts Club. Kay taught Sunday school for many years and sang in the Weslaco church choir under the direction of her husband, Gene.
The Braughts retired in south Texas, where Gene served as mayor of Weslaco for 10 years, and Kay was his First Lady. She was a 25-year visitor to church shut-ins and was named Weslaco’s Citizen of the Year. Because of Gene’s longtime Rotary ties, they hosted several exchange students, traveled for 5 weeks in New Zealand with a Group Study Exchange Team, and later visited “Rotary daughters” in Germany and South Africa. Kay was named a Paul Harris Fellow and Benefactor. After Gene’s death in 2003, Kay returned to Norman, where she lived with her daughter, Nancy, and later moved into Rivermont Living Center.
Kay loved her family, friends and her Lord and Savior dearly. Her strong faith saw her through the storms of life, and she walked this life with hope and joy! She truly had a servants’ heart and touched many lives.
Preceding her in death were: parents[NB1] , G.D. and Margaret Bellman; husband, Gene; sister, Irene Kramer; brother, Robert Bellman; and son-in-law, Doug Burton. She leaves: daughters, Judy Foote (Jack), Sacramento, CA, and Nancy Burton, Norman; son, Rick Braught (Barbara) of Duncan, OK; grandchildren, Jason Foote, Joel Foote (Jenni), David Burton (Laura), Michael Burton (Blair), Lauren Lusardi (Greg), Garrett Burton (Emma), Jack and Grant Braught; seven great grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews and dear friends.
A special thank you to the staff at Rivermont Living Center, Frontier Hospice and Life Spring Personal Care for the love and kindness shown to Kay.
A Celebration of Life for Kay will be held on Monday, October 21, 2019, at 1:30 pm in the sanctuary of McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman. The family will greet friends immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church- student ministries; the Gene Braught Band Scholarship Fund (University of Oklahoma Foundation), First Methodist Church Memorial Fund in Weslaco, Texas, or the Heifer Project International.
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