Leona D. “Lee” Brakla March 1st, 1927 - August 20th, 2023

Lee's Obituary

Leona D. (Lee) Brakla, 96, went to be with her Lord on August 20, 2023 at the home of her daughter, Shari Payne, St. Joseph, MI.

Lee was born in Watertown,WI to Herman & Ella (Prillwitz) Glaske. About one year later, the family moved to the St. Joseph, Benton Harbor area where she lived all of her life. After graduating from Benton Harbor High School and one year at Bob Jones College, Lee worked for A. B. Morss printers for many years, and then at Berrien County Intermediate School District, in Remc’s media department, retiring in 1991.

On November 29, 1947, she married Don Brakla. They had a daughter, Shari and a son, Mark.

Lee accepted the Lord as her Savior at age 13, and has loved and served Him all her adult life wherever she could; teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir and playing the piano and organ wherever there was a need. She had a large perennial garden and for over 40 years provided large floral arrangements for the church sanctuary, always thanking Him for the beauty in nature He has given us to enjoy!

Don & Lee enjoyed golfing, and spending vacations traveling on their Harley, pulling a pop-up camper, visiting almost all of the states in the country.

In the mid-60s, Don's work transferred him to Ashville, N.C. for 3 years. For several of those years, Lee was blessed with the opportunity to work at The Biltmore House in the floral design department making floral arrangements of all shapes and sizes to decorate the house. How she enjoyed that time and always thanked God for giving her that opportunity.

Lee was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Don & Paul Glaske, sister Helen Wentworth, Son Mark and granddaughter Kathy Patterson. She is survived by daughter Shari Payne, daughter in law Pat Brakla of Grand Rapids, 5 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 A.M. on Saturday, August 26, 2023 with Pastor Maynard Schoen officiating at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, Friends and family may visit with Leona’s family on Saturday from 10 A.M. until the time of service at the funeral home.. Private burial will be at a Later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may made to New Community Church WM Arts Dept, 2340 Dean Lake Ave. N.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49505 or American Macular Degeneration Foundation, PO Box 515, Northampton, MA 1061-0515.

Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 269-556-9450.


Service Details

View the current service details below. Sign up for email or text updates to receive notifications of any changes to service schedules or important information.