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Albert "Skip" Braak

Albert (Skip) Braak died on Saturday afternoon, February 3, 2024.


He was born at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines on January 13, 1931. He grew up in Des Moines and Marshalltown. He graduated from Marshalltown High School where he played football, golf, and track and field. His father was the golf pro at Elmwood Golf Course. Skip grew up working as a caddy, then working in the pro shop. He and his brothers loved to play golf. Skip went to Marshalltown Community College, then went into the Navy during the Korean Police Action. He became a Navy corpsman and was on the ship Bennington when there was a terrible explosion and fire. He helped many of the sailors who were badly burned and hurt. Skip was then assigned to Corpus Christi where he became a Navy Hospital corpsman and drove the ambulance to several airplane crash sites to help the pilots who were in training. He left the Navy and went to Drake University while working as a golf pro with his father at Wakonda Golf Course.


He married the love of his life, Eileen Hurley, and they had five children. Eileen died in 1982, leaving Skip devasted, but determined to raise his three children still at home at that time. He worked for New York Life Insurance for 38 years. He continued to enjoy golf. In retirement, he worked as a starter at Glen Oaks and Des Moines country clubs. He also worked at Wakonda as a ranger. He was very proud that he was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus.


He married the second love of his life, Barbara Heller in 1992 and enjoyed a happy life and retirement. They traveled and enjoyed seeing some of the world. They wintered in Port Arkansas, Texas. They made many friends during this time. Skip was a long-time member of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church where he was an usher, money counter, School Angel, and helped in any way he could.


He was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Florene (Murphy), brothers Bill and Fr. Tom and beloved wife Eileen. He is survived by wife Barbara, children Kelly (Jack) Judd, Brian (Dodie), Steve (Vickie), Chuck (Kelly) Braak, Maureen (Marlon) Renoso-Braak, stepson Parke (Megan) Heller. Grandchildren Erin (Matt) Kessler, Dan (Kelsey), Paul Braak, Bill (Rachel) Judd, Meghan (Michael) Basham, MacKenzie (Jamie) McGee, Abbey, Gretchen and Katy Braak, eight-great grandsons, two nephews and a niece.


He loved his children, and they had many special times together at picnics, barbeques, and family gatherings. He was very proud of each one and their successes.


He resided at Ramsey Village and appreciated all the care he received.


A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, February 10th at 1:00 pm at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 2926 Beaver Avenue in Des Moines.   Visitation will be from noon until Mass at the church.  Burial will be in Glendale Cemetery with Naval Military Honors.


Memorials may be sent to Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 2926 Beaver Avenue, for masses to be said through the year.



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