Jens "JC" Braaten, 90, died Sunday, Feb. 15, 2004, at a Havre hospital of natural causes.
A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the First Lutheran Church in Havre with the Rev. Brad Ulgenes officiating. There will be a graveside service
at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Round Prairie Cemetery in North Dakota.
Jens was born on Nov. 2, 1913, in Mondak to John and Regina (Dahl) Braaten. He was educated at various grade schools including Bonetrail, Peerless, and Upham, N.D. He attended school until the eighth grade. After losing his parents at an early age, Jens was involved in many jobs to help support himself (most legal and some maybe a little "borderline") including building roads, working as a farm hand, driving cab, working on the building of the Fort Peck Dam. He was a hard worker all his life. Very rarely was he not busy doing something.
He married Agnes Olson from Round Prairie, near Williston, N.D., on March 15, 1936. Jens and a partner owned and operated the Black and White Liquor Store in Williston for a few years. Not long after, Jens was hired as a carman on the Great Northern Railway in Williston. During this time, he and his wife, Agnes, also owned and operated an upholstery business, until moving to Havre in 1958. In Havre, Jens worked in the car shop at the Great Northern Railway and had a truck-cushion shop on the side for a few years, until his retirement in 1975.
In his spare time, he liked to hunt, fish, talk politics, cook or bake his own recipes, wood-burn sayings into old barn boards or just plain putter. He was an innovator and always working to figure out a better way of making something work.
In his last years he spent his time "hand writing" a very colorful account of his life history. His mind remained sharp right up to the end, outwitting everyone and often wining at "31", a family favorite card game. As long as his grandkids had a dollar to throw in the pot and were big enough to reach the top of the table, he'd get a big kick out of showing them how he could take their money. He will be missed more than we are able to express.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 62 years; Agnes in 1998; and his four siblings, Agnie Fougner of Williston, N.D., Josie Knutson of Peerless, Roy Braaten of Renton, Wash., and Gerald Braaten of Kent, Wash.
Jens is survived by his children, Joann (Darrell) Overcast of Conrad, Linda (Erik) Rognlien of Williston, N.D., Steve Braaten of Havre, and Renelle Braaten (Wayne Koepke) of Havre; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Memorials in Jens's honor may be made to a memorial of one's choice.
Services and arrangements are under the direction of Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.