Gretchen H. Brayton, 93, of Sumner, died Wednesday, September 14, 2016, at the Hillcrest Home in Sumner.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 17, 2016, at St. John Lutheran Church in Sumner with Rev. Norman Bauer officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, September 16th at Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Sumner and for one hour preceding services at the church on Saturday. Interment will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at the Hawkeye Cemetery. Memorials may be made in her name to either St. John Lutheran Church in Sumner or Lutheran Services in Iowa.
Gretchen Helena Hauth was born November 7, 1922, to Maria (Ungerer) and Henry F. Hauth in Hawkeye, Iowa, the second of three children. As a high school student she played basketball and was valedictorian of her class. She attended the University of Iowa where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with BA’s in English and Home Economics. After college she enlisted in the U.S. Women’s Army Corps and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant, serving in New York and Massachusetts during World War II.
After her discharge from the Army she taught high school English in Sumner, Iowa, where she met her future husband, John Brayton. She returned to the University of Iowa for graduate study in English, and shortly after she completed her Master of Arts degree she and John were married in Sumner. They eventually moved to the farm south of town where they raised their family of three children, John, Mary and Bill.
Gretchen returned to high school teaching in Fayette, Iowa for several years in the 1960’s before assuming the position of librarian at the Sumner Public Library, where she worked for many years.
She was an avid reader all her life and enjoyed music, gardening, sewing, quilting and needlework. She loved nature and knew the names of many birds, animals, flowers, and trees. She was especially fond of cats. She was a longtime member of the congregation at St. John Lutheran Church where she participated for many years in the quilting circle.
Gretchen was preceded in death by her brother Henry (Hank) Hauth, her parents Marie and Henry Hauth, her husband John and her sister Julia Knight (Bob).
Survivors include her children, John Brayton of Sumner, Mary Trachsel of Iowa City, and Bill Brayton of Lisbon; five grandchildren, Anthony Brayton, Abby Brayton-Chung, Karlina Trachsel, John Trachsel and Julian Trachsel; and four great grandchildren, Keegan and Dillon Brayton, Max Ciha and Parker Chung.
She was smart and strong and stubborn and will be greatly missed.