Velma Louise (Burtraw) Braden
June 18, 1915 – February 10, 2014
Velma Louise (Burtraw) Braden, of Concord, CA, passed away on February 10, 2014, of heart failure, at the age of 98.
She was born in Muir Michigan on June 18th, 1915, to Lee Albert and Lillian (Love) Burtraw. She was sister to two brothers, Gerald Lee & L. Gordon Gay. In 1926, taking the advice of relatives to follow the railroad for employment, her father moved the family out West from Michigan to Myrtle Creek, where she graduated from High School in 1933. From there she moved with her family to Oakridge, then onward to Eugene, where she worked for, and later retired from the railroad.
As a young woman in Eugene, Velma worked at a women’s dress shop, and she was an active community member. She frequently sang at the First Christian Church on Oak Street, and had fond memories of the occasional opportunities she had to house sit for friends who at the time, owned the Shelton McMurphy Johnson House. She loved and admired people of different cultures, young people children and cats. Thru out her life, she enjoyed many activities such as travel, gardening, music, dance, theatre, and had an active interest in her family connections, and in the history of her ancestry. In @ 1940, she married her first husband, James Warren Ecklund, and worked at a San Francisco clothing firm as a head cashier, where she remained for the duration of her life, later divorcing in 1949. Then on December 15, 1963, she remarried to G. Clark Braden, and became a loving step mother to a daughter through the union. After they were married, she never worked outside the home again. Sadly, she became widowed in July of 1970.
She was a loving friend and family member; she had a cheery positive vision on life and the world, and was kind, thoughtful, and present to all she came in contact with. She was classy, graceful, gracious and down to earth. As a vibrant independent cultured woman, she loved to travel abroad and had many different experiences. She enjoyed frequent trips, and mainly traveled across Europe, Asia and to the Hawaiian Islands. Her final trip abroad was in 2009, to Ireland and Scotland, at the age of 93.
She remained independent until she fell and broke her hip, and was unable to recover on her own due to osteoporosis, in 2009. Thereafter, she was cared for in a foster care facility located in Pengrove, CA.
Velma is survived by her step daughter, Kelli Braden Williams Michelucci, of Petaluma CA, along with numerous nieces, a nephew, 2 grandsons and 2 great granddaughters. Nephew, Gerald Lee Burtraw Jr. and niece, Phylis (Burtraw) Braun of Eugene Oregon, as well as generations of extended family who reside mainly in Eugene Oregon and Michigan.
She will be memorialized at West Lawn Memorial Park in Eugene Oregon, near her father, mother and youngest brother. An intimate gathering will be held in her honor, where we will toast to her, and share memories of her through stories and photos.
Please feel free to contact Lisa Burtraw at 541-349-0202, with any inquiries.