Lorraine “Lori” G. Branstrom, age 61, of Gladstone (west Gladstone area), passed away Friday afternoon, February 14, 2020 at home surrounded by her loving family after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born on November 2, 1958 in Waynesville, MO, the daughter of Bill Schafer and Virginia (Peel) Tucker. Lori grew up and attended school in Lansing, MI and was a 1976 graduate of Waverly High School. In 1981, Lori relocated and moved to the Escanaba area where she met her husband, Bryon Branstrom. She and Bryon were married on May 3, 1985 at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Escanaba. Together, the couple shared nearly 35 years of marriage. For many years, Lori was a dedicated homemaker and cared for her husband and their 3 children. As the children grew older, Lori became very involved in many leadership roles including; Girl Scout Leader, 4-H Leader, coached softball, 4-H Barn Manager, Exhibitors Manager for the U.P. State Fair and Delta County Chamber of Commerce, U.P. State Fair Agriculture Supervisor, former Swine Barn Assistant Superintendent, was part of the Junior Market Livestock Committee, served on the Building and Grounds Committee, a member of the Department Advisory Committee, member of the U.P. State Fair Management Team, and was part of the Transition Team when the fairgrounds moved from state to local governance. Lori was extremely committed to the U.P. State Fair, the Delta County Chamber of Commerce, and helping children. Her goal was to make the U.P. State Fair a better place for her grandchildren and other children to show animals someday. As Lori once stated, “Her favorite part of the fair is seeing the look on the faces of junior market livestock exhibitors when they arrive at the fair with their animals. They know everyone in the departments are there to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and their efforts that have led up to the moment when they finally enter the show ring with their champion animals.” Lori was very involved with the planning process of the U.P. State Fair each year. She helped create the logos of the fair in both 2019 and this upcoming 2020 fair. Lori recently received a state-wide award from the Association of Fairs at the annual convention in Grand Rapids, MI for the 2019 premium book she designed that is distributed to the 4-H exhibitors. Lori not only touched the lives of those involved with the U.P. State Fair, but she was a strong advocate for her husband, Bryon, when he served as president for the USW Local 21. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, advocate, and friend who will be missed by all who were fortunate to know her.
Lori G. Branstrom is survived by her husband, Bryon Branstrom of west Gladstone; sons, Jason (Keia) Branstrom of Escanaba, and Andy Branstrom (Nicole Sexton) of Gladstone; daughter, Julie (Chad) Rudden of Escanaba; father, Bill (Jan) Schafer of Bark River; mother, Virginia Tucker of Gladstone; grandchildren, Blake, Brody, and Brooklyn Branstrom, Kinslee and Jack Rudden, and Ethan, Grayson, and Rylee Hardwick; honorary granddaughter, Michaela Kohlman; brother, Jeff Schafer of Lansing, MI; sister, Debbie (Alex) Shaw of Lansing, MI; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Lori was preceded in death by her step-father, Dave Tucker; sister, Sandy Tucker; and father and mother-in-law, Albert and Annie Branstrom.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services celebrating the life of Lori will follow at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, at the United Evangelical Covenant Church in Gladstone with Pastor Aaron Anderson officiating. A luncheon will be served at the conclusion of the services in the church fellowship hall. Burial will take place in the Escanaba Township Cemetery in Flat Rock. In respect to Lori being a casual person, the family encourages those attending to please wear your 4-H, Girl Scout, U.P. State Fair, USW Local 21, Love for Lori, or flannel shirts. The Branstrom family would like to thank OSF Hospice for the wonderful care and compassion Lori received– especially Nurse Brittany.
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