Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1956

Don Bratton GERALD "DON" BRATTON, 66, a loving son, husband, father and grandfather, died on May 15, 2005, in Willow Park, TX, with burial at Laurel Land Memorial Park. Don was born Nov. 16, 1938 in Ranger, TX. He attended Ranger High School and was a veteran of the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. He retired from AT&T/Lucent after 44 years of service. Upon retiring, he enjoyed hunting, fishing & gardening, and he became the resident baby-sitter for his 10 grandchildren. Don was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Bailey Bratton. Survivors at the time of his death: mother, Sarah Louise Bratton of Ranger; wife, Anna Beth Bratton of Willow Park; sons, Billy Don Bratton and wife, Tricia, Ron Paul and wife, Gina, and Wyatt Paul and wife, Donna; daughters, Kerry Aaubers and husband, Scott, and Denise Clay & husband, Donald; grandchildren, Anjelica, Karaline, Charlotte, Christian, Scott, Anna Jean, Sidney, Briley, Brandi and DJ; brother, William Ray Bratton (RHS-1954) and wife, Marilyn, of Louisiana; sister, Janie Friedlein and husband, Mike, of Virginia; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. MOTHER: SARAH LOUISE SHAFFER BRATTON was born on Oct. 16, 1917 in Bowden, OK and went to be with our Lord on Oct. 13, 2020, with burial in Evergreen Cemetery at Ranger, TX. Sarah, who was known as Louise to her friends and family, spent her early years in Oklahoma. Her family moved to Crane, TX in 1930, when her father took a job in the newly opened oil fields. She married George William “Mac” Bratton in May of 1935 in Odessa, TX. They moved to his hometown of Ranger, TX in 1937, splitting time after that between Crane and Ranger for many years and raising three children. Louise was a self-taught pianist and enjoyed playing and singing Hymns. She often told the story of how when she was young, her family would go for a drive singing hymns at the top of their lungs. People could hear them coming for miles around. A smart woman with a love of learning, Louise attended nursing school in her 50s, combining and fulfilling her dream of profession and helping others. Upon graduation, she worked at hospitals in Crane, Ranger, Eastland, and Weatherford. In addition, Louise never stopped turning to school, specifically Ranger College, to explore and learn. She took classes in comparative religion, history, and a computer class in her 80s, so she could continue independent study. Her love of learning also extended to travel, visiting New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and much of Europe. An industrious woman, hobbies also translated to productive work such as tending, harvesting, and canning. Her downtime would typically find her tending her roses, playing the piano, or reading. She learned the art running a cattle ranch in her early 60s. She successfully maintained this family business on her own, while also continuing her nursing career for the next 20 years. She finally retired from both at the age of 82. Spunky and lively into her 90s, she continued to ride roller coasters every chance afforded to her. From Six Flags Over Texas to Disney parks, she rode every thrill ride even at the age of 92. Entertaining guests and family gave Louise immense joy. A table full of delicious food, abundant laughter and hugs fill the memories of her family. Witty, warm, and fun to be around, she enjoyed laughing and making others laugh. Although she loved old gospel hymns, her favorite melody was hearing her family laugh together. Her children and grandchildren were her world. Sarah Louise Bratton is preceded in death by her husband George William Bratton, her brother William “Billy” Shaffer, her sister Martha (Shaffer) Thompson, her son, Gerald Don Bratton (RHS-1956) and one great-grandchild. She is survived by her son, William Ray Bratton (RHS-1954), her daughter, Janie Ann Friedlein, six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.