OBITUARY

Mary Jane "Janie" Branum

January 27, 1933October 24, 2018
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Mary Jane (Sowers) Branum, 85, of Merriam, Kansas, passed away Wednesday, October 24, 2018, of AngioSarcoma. Affectionately known as Janie, she was a devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She fought a very rare cancer with such grace and dignity. Not one to complain, she would tell you she tried not to think negative thoughts as they will do no good. If you knew Janie, you loved her. Even through her last days she exuded a gentle and peaceful spirit.

Janie was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to parents Harold and Bernice Sowers. Her mother passed when Janie and her twin sister, Lois Wright, were three and their brother, Ollie Sowers, was six. She always spoke so fondly of her new mother, Grace Sowers, who she called Mommy her whole life.

She was a graduate of Shawnee Mission Rural High School, class of ’51. During high schoo,l she and her twin worked at “The Dime Store” in Brookside, then she worked for General Electric in downtown Kansas City after graduation. As a wife and homemaker, she also spent some years working in the cafeterias at Trailridge and Milburn Junior High Schools.

Janie was a woman who served others, and a role model to those who knew her.

She loved music. Her first pay check went to purchase a piano. As an accomplished pianist and organist, she brought joy to many through her music. She taught piano lessons, played for weddings and funerals, and was organist at Olivet Baptist Church. She enjoyed playing for the primary children in Sunday School at First Baptist of Shawnee. She loved teaching others the love of music and playing. She played and sang duets with her twin sister.

She loved visiting her brother’s family in California, making a visit in each month of the year over time.

As an avid gardener, she tended her flowers and yard every day. She kept the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks well fed. And she loved giraffes.

She is survived by her devoted husband of 64 years, David; son, Mark; daughter, Susan Williamson (Gary); son, Kirk (Joy); daughter, Colette Harris (Iain); grandchildren, Jessica, James, Jonathan and Phoebe; great-grandchildren, Kaden, Hunter, Joshua, Delaney and Bradford; nieces, Janice, Carolyn, and Trina; and nephews, Steve, Craig and Jeff; sister-in-law, Joyce and her BFF, Phyllis.

Visitation will be held at McGilley & Hoge Memorial Chapel, 8024 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kansas, on Saturday, November 3, at 10:00 a.m. with funeral service following at Noon.

The family would like to express our sincerest thanks for the wonderful help and care given by Dr. Powers’ team at KU Med, Kansas City Hospice, and Sisters Servants of Mary of Kansas City, Kansas. If desired, friends may make memorial contributions to those organizations.

  • FAMILY

  • Oliver Harold and Bernice Viola (Grauberger) Sowers, Parents
  • Grace Sowers, Step-Mother
  • David Branum, Husband
  • Mark Branum, Son
  • Susan Williamson and husband, Gary, Daughter
  • Kirk Branum and wife, Joy, Son
  • Colette Harris and husband, Iain, Daughter
  • Janie also leaves behind grandchildren: Jessica, James, Jonathan and Phoebe; great-grandchildren, Kaden, Hunter, Joshua, Delaney and Bradford; nieces, Janice, Carolyn and Trina; and nephews, Steve, Craig and Jeff; sister-in-law, Joyce; and her BFF, Phyllis to cherish her memory.
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Kirk Branum, Pallbearer
  • Gary Williamson, Pallbearer
  • Kaden Zubler, Pallbearer
  • Lee Slusher, Pallbearer
  • Mark Branum, Honorary Pallbearer

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, November 3, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, November 3, 2018
  • Committal Service Saturday, November 3, 2018
REMEMBERING

Mary Jane "Janie" Branum

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Heidi Werder

November 2, 2018

Colette Although I did not meet your mother I feel I know her some through you. She seems like a loving, strong, brave, classy, wonderful lady. She was beautiful in the photos and I am sure inside as well. You are a great example of how she raised her children. I have enjoyed the Photos on FB also. She is at peace with The Lord now. Many blessings to you all. Take care of yourselves also. Heidi Werder.

Phoebe Harris

November 2, 2018

I remember spending a Christmas with her. The house was lovely and always smelled of home cooked meals. Both her and I have a love for Ty beanie babies. Which I proceeded to go through her collection. She even gave me one. A little siamese cat that was identical to one I had lost a few years ago. And popcorn. Being up in canada she would send me this giant bucket for Christmas that had 4 different popcorn flavours. Plus she would send me homemade fudge which was amazing. She is well loved and will always have a special place in everyone's memories. I keep a little stuffed giraffe to remember her by on my dresser.

Charlene Brynteson

October 26, 2018

Mary Jane was a lover of Sacred Music as am I. We were both members of Olivet Baptist Church. I was privileged to have her as my piano teacher. She was always godly, kind, gentle & patient❣ For a few years we got to play together for the Praise & Worship portion of the Church Services - she on the organ & me on the piano. It was my honor to know & love her as my sister in CHRIST!! Looking forward to the reunion day at Home in Heaven!!!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Mary Jane (Sowers) Branum, 85, of Merriam, Kansas, passed away Wednesday, October 24, 2018, of AngioSarcoma. Affectionately known as Janie, she was a devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She fought a very rare cancer with such grace and dignity. Not one to complain, she would tell you she tried not to think negative thoughts as they will do no good. If you knew Janie, you loved her. Even through her last days she exuded a gentle and peaceful spirit.

Janie was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to parents Harold and Bernice Sowers. Her mother passed when Janie and her twin sister, Lois Wright, were three and their brother, Ollie Sowers, was six. She always spoke so fondly of her new mother, Grace Sowers, who she called Mommy her whole life.

She was a graduate of Shawnee Mission Rural High School, class of ’51. During high schoo,l she and her twin worked at “The Dime Store” in Brookside, then she worked for General Electric in downtown Kansas City after graduation. As a wife and homemaker, she also spent some years working in the cafeterias at Trailridge and Milburn Junior High Schools.

Janie was a woman who served others, and a role model to those who knew her.

She loved music. Her first pay check went to purchase a piano. As an accomplished pianist and organist, she brought joy to many through her music. She taught piano lessons, played for weddings and funerals, and was organist at Olivet Baptist Church. She enjoyed playing for the primary children in Sunday School at First Baptist of Shawnee. She loved teaching others the love of music and playing. She played and sang duets with her twin sister.

She loved visiting her brother’s family in California, making a visit in each month of the year over time.

As an avid gardener, she tended her flowers and yard every day. She kept the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks well fed. And she loved giraffes.

She is survived by her devoted husband of 64 years, David; son, Mark; daughter, Susan Williamson (Gary); son, Kirk (Joy); daughter, Colette Harris (Iain); grandchildren, Jessica, James, Jonathan and Phoebe; great-grandchildren, Kaden, Hunter, Joshua, Delaney and Bradford; nieces, Janice, Carolyn, and Trina; and nephews, Steve, Craig and Jeff; sister-in-law, Joyce and her BFF, Phyllis.

Visitation will be held at McGilley & Hoge Memorial Chapel, 8024 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kansas, on Saturday, November 3, at 10:00 a.m. with funeral service following at Noon.

The family would like to express our sincerest thanks for the wonderful help and care given by Dr. Powers’ team at KU Med, Kansas City Hospice, and Sisters Servants of Mary of Kansas City, Kansas. If desired, friends may make memorial contributions to those organizations.