OBITUARY: Eleanor Braendel



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Eagle River’s Eleanor K. Braendel, 88, died at home in her sleep on August 13, 2012.

She was born Eleanor Kathleen Strum on Feb. 6, 1924 in Seattle to Elmer and Kathleen Sarge Strum. She was a founding member of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra in 1946 and the Alaska Fine Arts Academy in 1984.

She graduated from Ithaca High School in 1941 and Cornell University with a BA degree in 1944. She worked for IBM in Buffalo, NY as a Systems Servicewoman. In 1943 she met Arthur Braendel, a Navy Ensign, at Cornell University at a dance where he was looking for a violinist or violist to play chamber music. She later married Arthur in Seattle after the end of World War II in 1946. They flew to their new home in Anchorage on a freight plane and homesteaded in Eagle River in 1947. Their first winter in Anchorage they were two of the first 17 founding members of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra. Eleanor played Viola with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, the Borealis String Quartet, The Anchorage Philharmonic Orchestra and many other groups throughout the years.

Eleanor taught piano, violin and viola lessons to countless students from her home in Eagle River for over 50 years. Her family said she had a passion for music and shared her love of the arts with all who knew her.

“Her gentle spirit will be missed by many but not forgotten,” her family said. “She leaves a legacy that lives on through the lives of all her students, friends and family.”

She is survived by her children, son Karl (and Donna) Braendel and grandchildren Kiche and Kaasan of Chickaloon; son Arthur (and Barbara) Braendel and grandson Benjamin with great-grandson Connor all of Eagle River and granddaughter Jessica Braendel of Anchorage, foster grand daughter Lisa (Adriel) Cooke of Anchorage, niece Ashley Parker of Anchorage; son Eric Braendel with grandson Sean of Eagle River, daughter Ella Maria Braendel of Eagle River.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and Kathleen Strum, infant daughter Ella Kathleen, sister Elsie Hutchinson, and her loving husband Arthur W. Braendel.

In lieu of flowers please make tax deductible donations to the Alaska Fine Arts Academy, 12340 Old Glenn Highway, suite 200, Eagle River, AK 99577

A public service will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m., at the Joy Lutheran Church near the intersection of Eagle River Road and Eagle River Loop Rd. Come join the family for a celebration of her life.

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