Gary Brauning, a longtime Finksburg resident and Carroll County figure who held multiple varied roles both professional and community-based, is being remembered as a respected family man.
Brauning, who died April 17 at age 90, grew up with one sister and two brothers; he was the oldest of the boys, with his sister being the oldest of the four.
He graduated Westminster High School in 1946. After attending Johns Hopkins University for two years, Gary returned to Carroll County to become a dairy farmer.
Brauning loved his community and was involved in various aspects of it.
He previously served as the director of the Carroll County Farm Museum, secretary of the Carroll County Central Farm Bureau planning group and board member for what was then called Carroll County General Hospital.
Brauning was also a lifelong member of Calvary United Methodist Church of Gamber.
In addition to his various commitments, Brauning was also the father of four children, grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of 11.
“[Gary] was very proud of them all,” said David L. Brauning, Gary’s youngest brother. “He was very happy to be with them and encourage them.”
He was long a visible figure in the community.
“He was a very capable individual that people looked up to,” retired dairy farmer Bob Jones said. “As he grew with age, he was very well respected by everyone that knew him.”
Jones knew Brauning since 1957, when Jones first came to Carroll County.
Other than giving back to his community, Brauning also enjoyed hunting small game and rooting for the Baltimore Orioles.
The level of respect he earned also extends to family — David thought of his brother as someone he could always lean on.
“He was a good brother,” David said. “He was nine years older than I am. Whenever I asked him for help or advice, he was there.”
David also described his brother as very appreciative of his community.
Those who knew Brauning described him as someone who wasn’t fond of the spotlight.
“He didn’t like to be in the forefront a lot,” David said.
“Gary was quiet but very much involved,” Jones said.
Brauning is survived by his wife of 66 years, Martha Virginia Brauning; children Gary R. Brauning II and wife Kate; Gail Evans and husband Neil; Jane Hoffman and husband Jeff; and Guy R. Brauning and wife Jeannie, all of Finksburg, as well as his brother David L. Brauning and wife Libby of Finksburg, and sister-in-law Etta Ruth Heird of Hampstead.
Brauning’s funeral was held on April 23 at Calvary United Methodist Church of Gamber.