Betty Allen Braham passed away on Feb. 17, 2015, in Pagosa Springs. She was 92. She was born Jan. 1, 1923, to Dr. Charles Curtis Allen and Lola Genevieve Allen in Hollister, Okla. She grew up in Frederick, Okla., gradated from Frederick High School in 1940, won a scholarship to Christian College (now Columbia College) in Columbia, Mo., and earned an associate’s degree in science. She continued her education at the University of Oklahoma. While at Columbia , she met and became engaged to her future husband, James D. Braham. They were married in 1943 and remained married for 63 years.
Betty was a loyal, adventurous and fearless woman. In 1947, her husband was stationed with the U.S. Army in Berlin, Germany. She was determined to join her husband in Germany. She and her 11-month-old daughter drove from Frederick to Wichita Falls, Texas, flew from Wichita Falls to Dallas and from Dallas to New York City, where she boarded a boat to Germany. After 12 days at sea, she arrived in Germany and took a train to Berlin. Berlin, however was surrounded by 300,000 Russian troops, so she, her husband and child were airlifted out of Berlin to Nürnberg. She was an active Army wife for 20 years.
When her husband resigned his Army commission, the family moved to Richardson, Texas. Betty worked as a medical assistant until she retired. She and her husband lived in the Richardson-Garland area for 40 years. She was involved with various organizations including the Richardson’s Women’s Club, the Richardson Symphony Guild and the Military Officer’s Women’s Club. She was a Methodist by choice and was an active member of the First Methodist Church of Richardson. She attended the Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. She and her husband traveled extensively. She saw 50 world capitals.
Betty was resourceful and optimistic. At age 55, and profoundly hard of hearing, she decided to learn to tap dance. She astonished her husband as she and the dance troop preformed at Southern Methodist University and elsewhere around Dallas.
Betty was resilient, determined and fully engaged with life. She completely lost her hearing and was deaf for 25 years.
At age 78, she was accepted into a study for Cochlear implants. Her bilateral implants were activated on Oct. 3, 2001, and her life changed once again. She rediscovered communication and became an advocate and speaker for Cochlear. She said, “Everyday I hear something that delights me, informs me, teaches me, and makes my life more joyful.”
In 2006, she lost her husband, Jim. She moved to Pagosa to live with her daughter and son-in law. She loved a party, the Women’s Golf Association, the hospital, Little Black Dress Affair, and once she was a Miss Happy Trails. Thanks, Maria.
With grace and generosity for her family, she transitioned into the Pine Ridge Extended Care Facility. Alzheimer’s took its toll, but did not steal her personality. She remained a curious, loving and fun-seeking woman. She was losing her language, but her most frequent words were “Wow” and “Did you see that?”
She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Sanborn, and son-in law, Ranza Boggess. She was loved and will be missed. She will be buried with her husband at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.