Former councilman Braun passes
Remember as man who loved Byram
BY ALLEY SHUBERT
BYRAM — Kurt Wilhelm Braun, a longtime resident of Byram Township, died last month at Crystal Coast Hospice House in Newport, NC. He was 85.
“He really enjoyed life,” said his daughter, Heidi McNerney. “He never took for granted what he had. We traveled all over New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.”
Braun was born in Lehrensteinsfeld, Germany, immigrated to the United States in 1952, and was granted American citizenship in 1956. He chose Byram Township because it was very country and rural for its time, and reminded him of life in Europe with small villages.
Braun was truly a businessman, and there was a lot of work for him in the township, as homes were being converted from summer houses to year-round homes.
He and his wife Dorothy owned and operated Braun’s Aluminum Products for over 40 years within the township, before retiring to Morehead City in 2002.
Braun served for 18 years on the Byram Township Council, and always felt it was his responsibility as an American citizen to give back to the community he so dearly admired.
“I knew Kurt since I was a young boy growing up in Byram,” said Byram Township Mayor Jim Oscovitch. “He was a family friend, and when I joined the township council, Kurt acted as my mentor.”
Braun served as a building inspector for the Planning Board, and was also a commissioner at the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority from 1991 to 2001. He was known as a very progressive individual, who understood the importance of keeping Sussex County green.
“I know Kurt will be remembered as someone who loved Byram, adored his family, and was always a gentleman. I am very happy to have called him my friend. He will certainly be missed,” Oscovitch said.
He was a member of St. John’s Masonic Lodge #1 of Mt. Lakes, NJ and an affiliated member of Ocean Lodge #405 in Morehead City, N.C. He served on the Grand Staff of the Masonic Lodge of NJ in 1976 and was a shriner for many years.
Braun was an avid soccer fan and was instrumental in forming and coaching the first Byram Soccer clubs for boys and girls many years ago. He also enjoyed skiing, and golfing during his retirement years in NC.
Braun is survived by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy, his daughter Heidi McNerney and her husband Frank of Stanhope, NJ, and his son Christopher and his wife Pattie, of Broad Run, VA, as well as five grandchildren Ryan and Christina McNerney, and Kurtis, Marshall and Mitchell Braun.
“I think a lot of people in Byram and Sussex County will remember him,” McNerney said.
A Celebration of Braun’s Life will be held on Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Community Church of Mountain Lakes, 48 Briarcliff Road, Mountain Lakes NJ 07046.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kurt’s memory to either the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 3551 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140; or Crystal Coast Hospice House,100 Big Rock Weigh, Newport, NC 28570.
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