James Wray Braby, age 83, of Lamoni, Iowa, the son of Clarence Wray and Gertrude Louise (Lane) Braby, was born March 12, 1929 in Leon, Iowa. The house was so close to the state line, rocks could be thrown into Missouri. He died at his home on Sunday, July 1, 2012.
At the age of three years, Jim and his family moved to a farm that was part of the DeLong Orchard in Missouri. They lived there for two years then moved to Lamoni where Jim started kindergarten. They lived in several homes in Lamoni before moving back to the DeLong Orchard Jim’s sophomore year of high school. Following his junior year, the family moved to Mount Ayr, Iowa. Jim graduated from Mount Ayr high school. While in Lamoni high school, Jim was named all conference in football and basketball as a sophomore and a junior and as a senior in Mount Ayr. He also played baseball in Mount Ayr.
After high school graduation, Jim went back to Lamoni and attended Graceland College, which was a junior college at that time. In the two years there, he earned six letters, two in football, two in basketball and two in track. He was named a Small College All American in football and the All Iowa Basketball Squad his sophomore year.
On May 26, 1949, Jim married his longtime sweetheart, Bettie Ann Reynard. Following the honeymoon, he went to work at Reynard’s Clothing in Lamoni. In 1951 he enlisted in the United States Navy; following boot camp he was assigned to the US Phillipine Sea, an aircraft carrier, doing two tours off the Korean shore. In 1953 he was transferred to Kodiak, AK, with the Com Nav Fee staff. Bettie joined him and they spent two years there. During his time in Alaska, he coached the high school base basketball team taking them to the All Alaska Basketball Tournament. He finished his four-year tour as a Journalist 2nd Class. He had several articles printed in the All Hands Magazine. He was released from the Navy in 1955 and discharged in 1959. He returned to Lamoni and bought half interest in the Reynard’s Clothing Store. Following J.E. Reynard’s retirement, he bought the other half and changed the name to the Stag Shop. He operated the store until 1991, when he retired.
Jim served in many civic duties during his time in Lamoni. He was on the park board, city council, school board, industrial development and the Coliseum board. He also was an assistant coach with the Graceland football team for 24 years. He was on the first golf club board of directors who started the Lamoni Golf Club.
Preceding him in death were his parents; wife, Bettie on December 8, 2008; granddaughter, Erica Braby in 1999; sister, Marlene Greimann, and sister-in-law, Lois Braby.
Survivors include his sons, Rick Braby and wife Charlotte “Charlie” of Sibley, Iowa and Tim Braby and wife Cindy of Alta Loma, California; grandchildren, Trent, Jamid and Mallory; two stepgrandchildren, Nathan Lankey and Allison Lankey; brothers, Jack Braby of California and Chuck Braby of Davis City, Iowa; brother-in-law, Lee Greimann of Perry, Iowa; his beloved dog, Buffy, and other relatives and friends.
Memorial services were held at the Lamoni Community of Christ Church in Lamoni on Monday, July 9, 2012, with Judy Badder and Jack Braby officiating. Burial was in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Lamoni