Eugene “Junior” Braunberger Jr, of Medora ND, at home with family by his side, entered eternal life on January 14th 2021, freeing him from his battle with cancer at 63.
Jr was born on the iron range in Virginia, MN. His family settled in Medora where he attended grade school, and his roots remained and grew more deeply in the Badlands all his life. After high school (Belfield Class of ‘76), he went to Missoula, MT where he finished trade school and worked as a mechanic.
In 1980 he married Peg Lazerenko (m. 25 years) and in Medora they raised two sons, Jason and Eric, ran Geno’s gas station for years, and afterward owned Burning Hills Antiques and Gift Shop. Always industrious, Jr started a remodeling company that evolved and grew until it led him to custom home building; a trade he ultimately continued.
In 2010 he answered a phone call for a remodel quote, it turned out he and the prospective client shared many interests; after a daring dinner invitation and silly eMail, he and MaryEllen began their lasting romance, were later engaged, and were inseparable for the rest of his life.
Jr obviously never read a pamphlet called “How To Be Boring”, which forbids falling madly in love, traveling the country in a giant RV, shirtless boating and jet skiing, building your own villa in your hometown, drinking fancy whiskey and craft beers, 4wheeling the mountains and deserts, zip lining in tropical jungles, wrangling exotic birds, or back alley bar hopping in Dublin and Amsterdam. Of course, he did all of those things and more with passion.
He is survived by fiancée MaryEllen Logan (Belfield, ND); sons - Jason (Hawaii), Eric and fiancée Alycia (Miles City, MT); sisters - Cindi Evans (Worcester MA), Kelly Guerin (Glendale, AZ), Roxy Morgan and husband Bob (Grand Forks, ND), their families; and grandsons - Lucas and Talon.
Jr was an adept outdoorsman, sportsman, and craftsman as well as a fanatic for music, antiques, and adventure. He was inventive and visionary, seeing the potential for something artistic and useful in a pile of scrap metal and barn wood and then making it. The villa in Medora is a masterwork of that creativity. He was a home builder and a taskmaster with little patience for bad work, walls that weren’t plumb and level, joints that weren’t square and true, or finishes that were sloppy.
He also built a life and a legacy. Now, the job is done and we can evaluate the work. We want him to know the work is good. The walls are plumb and level, the joints are square and true, the finishes are beautiful. Truly what we would expect from Jr, we are grateful & will cherish it until we see him again.
Funeral services will be held at 3:30PM on Friday Jan 22 at the Lutheran Church in Medora. Food, drink, and stories to follow at the Little Mo’, all are welcome.