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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dorys Braden

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dorys Clara Peterson-Braden, a World War II POW, passed away on July 10, 2012 at Lacoba Nursing Home in Monett, Mo.

Dorys was born in a blacksmith shop on Sept. 12, 1911 in Esk Saskatchewan, Canada to Lewis and William Peterson and Augustine Klatt-Peterson. She was the oldest of three brothers and six sisters. During the time Dorys lived in Canada, her father worked building the grain elevators near the railroad so as a family they lived in tent cities. As a child, they would play in the grain elevators and use them as big slides and she attended a different school every year.

In 1921 they moved to Minneapolis, Minn. At the age of 13, Dorys went to work as a mother's helper to help her parents financially since she had so many brothers and sisters at home. As she grew up, she went to night school and finally attended the University of Minnesota. Dorys then became the personnel manager for Armours. She was also a big sister with the Big Brother Big Sister Organization and taught swimming at the YMCA. It was fun listening to her stories about riding the street cars in the cold winters and interesting to hear about the great depression.

Dorys became a naturalized citizen in 1941 in Minneapolis. She then enlisted in the WAAC, now known as the WAC Army, in February 1943. After basic training, she became a drill sergeant in Des Moines, Iowa and had the first Black Women's Troop. She was sent to New Guinea with the Army Ordinance Company. Dorys was on Pau Pau Island, Ora Bay where there were still head hunters and then to Lae Island, where she met her husband Carl. For her wedding attire, she used a parachute for her veil and used a white lace hankie in her fatigue pocket. During this time her tent was across from General Douglas McArther's and she spoke of when he came ashore. She received a field commission of captain during her stay on Lae Island. Dorys was then sent to the Philippines. While in the hospital recovering from a broken foot, she became a prisoner of war at the Santo Tomas Prison for three months. She was returned to the United States and received an honorable discharge from Baxter General Hospital in Spokane, Wash. in August 1945.

Dorys moved to Fort Riley, Kan. in 1951 with her husband and children. She then became a Brownie and Girl Scout leader. She worked at Irwin Army Hospital in pediatrics as head administrator until 1976 when she retired. She then began her many volunteer jobs such as pastoral relations with the First Methodist Church in Manhattan, Kan. and outreach coordinator from 1978-1986. She was also active with the Manhattan chapter of hospice for 12 years. She then moved to Monett, Mo. in 1987 and belonged to the First Methodist Church. In 1990 she moved to Springfield, Mo. and belonged to the National Avenue Christian Church, the Minnesota Club and had a lifetime membership with the YMCA.

During her time in Springfield, she took a Caribbean cruise at age 80 and received her certificate for scuba diving. Dorys lived her life to the fullest. She has sky dived, rode camels in the Holy Land and was an avid swimmer until age 97. She was involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, League of Women Voters, NARFE, ABWA, AARP, Kansas State University Alumni Assoc. and Democratic Women's Club. Dorys submitted her body to the University of Missouri Medical Center.

Dorys was preceded in death by three brothers, four sisters and a grandson.

Dorys is survived by three beautiful daughters, Petie and Robbin Swokla of Winnemucca, N.V., Barb and Earl Shafer of Central Lake, Mich. and Susan and Buz Tennison of Monett, Mo.; sisters, Fran Newman and Donna Jean Hane, both of Minnesota, 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Dorys's motto was: "Learn all you can and if you make a mistake and you learned from it, then it's not a mistake, it's a learning experience, and do everything to the best of your ability then turn it over to God and let go. Also, be kind to your fellow man."

The celebration of Dorys's life will be Sept. 12, 2012, details to be announced. A special thank you to the wonderful and devoted CNA'S, nurses and staff at Lacoba Nursing Home who took great care of our mother, grandmother and friend for the last three years.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to March of Dimes or Wounded Warriors. Arrangements have been entrusted to Buchanan Funeral Home, Monett, Mo.


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