Public Graveside Services: Will be held at the Massena Center Cemetery in Massena on Friday, May 8, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. Due to COVID-19, Social Distancing will be practiced. The Steen Funeral Home in Massena is in charge of the professional arrangements.
Open Visitation: Friends may call at the Steen Funeral Home in Massena on Thursday, May 7, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Memorials: May be directed to the Millree Brawe memorial fund to be established by the family at a later date.
Millree Virginia Cole Brawe was born January 20, 1920, to loving parents, Floyd McKinley Cole and Lola Olds Cole, in their home in rural Massena. Two years later, she was joined by her only sister, Marjorie Verlee. She passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Monday, May 4, 2020, at the Heritage House in Atlantic, Iowa, at the age of 100. Millree was raised on her parents farm in rural Massena, enjoying a beautiful childhood with wonderful parents. She attended country school, grades 1-8, at Victoria #3. She rode her horse, Sparkle, to school every day with her sister Marjorie and her lifelong friend, Louise McLaren. Millree was active in 4-H. She was most proud that she sewed her own outfit and won Style Show Girl, advancing her to the Iowa State Fair; quite an achievement in the 1930's. Millree graduated from Massena High School in 1938.
After she graduated high school, she worked for several families in the area, doing housework and helping with the children. She, and her future sister-in-law Ruby Brawe, lived and worked for the Garst Family in Coon Rapids, IA. She then attended Iowa State Teachers School, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, obtaining her teaching certificate. She taught country school for several years. She was a favorite teacher to many students. Her talent of being a patient, loving teacher, proved true with her grandchildren. She spent many many hours teaching them to read and write, even before they were sent to Kindergarten.
During her early adult years, she fell in love with and married her friend Ruby's brother, Harold Elmer. Harold and Millree were married October 21, 1944, in Malvern, Iowa. After they were married, they moved to a farm north of Massena. Harold farmed, raised livestock, and Millree took on the duties of being a wonderful cook and housewife. Harold farmed with his brother and brother-in-law while Millree cooked for them all every day. She made the best food and served them all pie and coffee in the afternoon.
In March of 1946, their first son was born, Larry Harold, at the Bristol Hotel in Massena, IA. In July of 1957, their prayers were answered again when their second son, Danny Dean, was born at the Greenfield Hospital. Millree was the most wonderful mother to her boys; always their biggest fan. She radiated with the love she had for her family.
Millree was a lifelong member of the Massena Methodist Church. Her faith was very important to her all her life, learning this from her parents. She played piano for church, assisted with Sunday school, and was an active member of the United Methodist Women and Hope Circle.
Her love for people was evident in all of her activities outside the home. Some of the clubs she belonged to were African Violet club, Daisy Garden club, Massena Meal Site (again, beautifully playing piano), TTT club, Good Neighbor's club, Friends of the Library and the Crazy 8's card club. She loved playing cards, especially with her family. Pinochle was her favorite. Everyone wanted Grandma Millree on their team. Even into her 90's, she managed the cool handshakes and gestures after winning. There were never any puzzles too difficult for her; Suduko and cross-word puzzles and she spent many hours on this. She appreciated when the puzzle books had the answers in the book. She also spent countless hours researching her and grandpa's family history. She loved genealogy and made beautiful family history scrap books for her boys. She was always proud to tell everyone she was 100% English, not a bit of German in there.
There are so many words to describe our mom and grandma: beautiful, loving, humble, compassionate, smart, caring, witty, ornery (very small streak), wonderful cook (especially her noodles), and teacher. This might be why whenever her grandchildren were in trouble, they always cried for her and called grandma. She never told them no. Some of her favorite sayings were "That's not the worst thing that could happen," and "Good Grief Charlie Brown." She loved them all endlessly. Her greeting was always "Where have you been all of my life," and parting words "Be careful on the highway." One of the legacies she left us all, was her love for animals, especially dogs. She was most content sitting in her recliner with Nala on her lap, talking so sweetly to her and feeding her treats.
Millree was welcomed into heaven by her parents, Floyd and Lola, husband Harold, sister Marjorie (Everett Whitaker), sister-in-law Ruby (Penny Tuel), sister-in-law Elsie (Elmer Purvis), brother-in-law Art (Fern) Brawe, and brother-in-law Elmer (Dorothy) Brawe. And also her nephew Tim Tuel, whom she loved so much.
Left to cherish her beautiful memory, is her son Larry and wife Sue Brawe, son Danny Brawe and Kathleen Foster, granddaughters Shana (Anthony) Stark, Jill (Mark) Horan, Kristen (Dustin) Hayes, and Tess Brawe (Matthew O'Neal). Her most special great-grandchildren Tyler Bailey, Austin (Julie) Horan, Kelsey Bailey, Katie Horan, Braden Stark, Jaxson Stark, Lainey Horan, and Parker O'Neal. And we cannot forget, her most cherished grand-pup Nala.