Mr. Arnold Braaten, late of Birch Hills, SK, passed away on Sunday, August 4, 2019, at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, SK.
Arnold John Braaten “AJ” was born June 2, 1933 the fourth child to Oliver and May (Stevenson) Braaten. He had five brothers and two sisters. They lived in Tiger Hills, SK where Oliver and May operated their store O. Braaten General Merchant, Groceries & Gas from 1932 till 1944. In 1944 the store was sold to U.B. & Edith Ayles. From the store Oliver and May bought the farm on the hill where they lived, each year they cleared some of the land so they could grow crops and raise animals, cows, horses, pigs & chickens.
At an early age, Arnold fell in love with anything with an engine. While living at Tiger Hills store he took an interest in the Steam Engines and was able to call out which engine before they even pulled up. Airplanes were also a fascination, and Arnold got to see many Tiger Moths and meet the Airforce trainees when they landed the planes in the field near the store.
When school age, they walked a mile and a half to Tiger Hills School which he attended up to grade 6 and was known as teacher’s pet. Jumping Lake was a favorite place to go as a kid where he and his brothers were known to find a bit of mischief.
When his brother Arthur was drafted to the Air Force during WWII, Arnold left school to help run the family farm. Then at the age of 13 Arnold went to work as part of a threshing crew, from there went logging in The Pas, MB.
In 1952 he went to Edmonton where he completed his Diesel Mechanic Certification and returned to Birch Hills to work at Fred’s Service.
Arnold met Marie Royer in 1955, they were married in 1957 and raised three sons: Steve, Neil and Dean.
From 1958 to 1961 Arnold managed and lived at the Searle elevator in Waitville, SK. When the elevator closed in 1961 he purchased his first CAT, a D4, and went into the land clearing and breaking business, clearing many acres locally and all the way to Debden, Stump Lake and Canwood.
In 1968 Arnold and Marie purchased Friesen’s welding shop in Birch Hills and built the new shop in 1977 which still operates today as Braaten Construction. Arnold farmed with his brother George until the mid 80’s when he decided to focus more on the construction business adding dugout digging to the mix as well as a little farming of his own on the side, his grandson Carter still farms that land today.
Family camping and fishing trips were enjoyed at Weyakwin, Nemeiben, Anglin and Candle Lakes. Later in life when the boys were older and could take care of the farm and the business Arnold and Marie enjoyed travelling making trips to BC, Las Vegas, North Dakota and Montana, and even enjoyed a few bus trips travelling to New Orleans which included a stop at the John Deere factory and another to attend Norsk Hostfest in Minot. Arnold was even known to jump in the truck with Neil or Dean while they were trucking spending weeks at a time travelling all across Canada and the USA
Arnold was a man of many hats: farmer, equipment operator, machinist, welder, inventor, Mr. Fix-It (he could fix anything), fisherman, avid Blue Jays fan, coffee row attendee whether at the café, Grumpy’s or the shop coffee was always on, supporter of the local arena spending countless volunteer hours including leveling for the ice surface with the Euclid scraper but best of all Grandfather extraordinaire. AJ loved spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, he spent many of hours bike riding, fishing, driving lesson (vehicles and machinery), building toys and passing on his knowledge on anything and everything at the shop.
Arnold is lovingly remembered by: his wife, Marie and their sons: Steve (Susan), Neil (Tracy), Dean (Joan); his grandchildren, Carlee (Kim), Chris (Jenna), Carter (Bailey), Mason and Darian; his great grandchildren, Levi, Lexi, Payton and Riggs; his brothers, Albert (Vicky) Braaten and family: Cheryl (Chuck), Bev (Jerry) and Pamela, and Robert Braaten and family: Debbie (Warren), Lorrie, Terry (Bruce); his sister, Violet Young and family: Sharon (Hugh), Marlis (Harry); his nephew, Clifford (Brenda); his sister-in-law, Joan Braaten and family: Cheryl (George), Lytisha, Cindy; and many great and great-great nieces and nephews.
Arnold was pre-deceased by: his parents, Oliver and Alice May Braaten; his brothers, Arthur Braaten and his wife Anne, George Braaten, and Orvin Braaten; his sister, Olive Braaten; his brother-in-law, Dan Young; his nephews, Bryne Boe and Glen Braaten; his nieces, Arden and Marlene Braaten; and his great nieces, Jennifer and Angela Wait.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00pm on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at the Birch Hills Civic Centre. Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home, Marianne Turcotte, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, SK 306-763-3322.