Mandan News

Obituaries – September 17-23, 2011

Mary Brazda

Funeral services were held on Friday, Sept. 16, in the Delhomme Chapel of the Flowers in Lafayette, La., for Mary Jean Fitzsimmons Brazda, 84, who died Monday, Sept. 12, at her residence in Carencro, La.

The Rev. Curtis Mallet, Pastor of St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Lafayette, was the Celebrant of the Mass and conducted the funeral services.

Brazda was born Nov. 21, 1926, in Mandan, and graduated with honors from Mandan High School in 1944. She attended Rosary College in Chicago, Ill., and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1948, where she was a member of honors organizations Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta. Brazda later earned a masters degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1969.

Brazda taught school for nearly 50 years, including at Mandan High, plus schools at the elementary, high school and collegiate level in south Louisiana.

In 1967, she was named “Outstanding Teacher” by the Lafayette Youth Council and was later selected for inclusion in the 1976 edition of “Outstanding Leaders in Elementary and Secondary Education.”

After she retired from teaching in the early 1990s, she volunteered many hours at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Teurlings Catholic High School in Lafayette, La.

Brazda’s greatest joys were her family, friends, painting, playing bridge, reading, crocheting, constructing jigsaw puzzles, and watching movies and television.

Survivors include her sister, Kathleen “Bunkie” Fitzsimmons Leik of Helena, Mont.; three sons, Steven James Brazda and his wife Lucia, of Parks, Michael Robert Brazda and his wife, Wanda, of Arnaudville, La., and Scott Anthony Brazda and his wife, Suzanne, of Lafayette; one daughter, Mary Lynn Halderman and her husband, Ron, of Billings, Mont.; 10 grandchildren, Stephanie Jo Brazda, Amy Claire Brazda Eastman, Cara Nell Halderman, Christopher Robert Halderman, Leah Marie Halderman, Zachary Arthur Brazda, Sophia Marie Brazda, Nicholas Anthony Brazda, Colby Joseph Melvin and Tyler James Moehring; and one great-grandchild, Kai Arthur Ronald Reese.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Robert Brazda; her parents, James and May Fitzsimmons of Mandan; and her brother, Patrick Fitzsimmons of Mandan.

Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to Hospice of Acadiana in Lafayette.


Charlotte Makelky

Charlotte Makelky, 83, Minot, died Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, at Angel Care Adult Foster Care in Carpio.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, Minot.

Charlotte Louise Starck was born Nov. 11, 1927, at the family farm in rural Judson. She was the middle daughter of three born to Herman and Emma (Jacobson) Starck.

She was raised on the farm, attended country schools, and graduated from Judson High School in 1945. She attended Dickinson State Teachers College, where she obtained her teaching certificate. She taught second grade in the Sweetbriar School District. She later moved to Mandan to work at the Mandan Fruit Company. She then went to work at 1st National Bank in Mandan, which has since become Wells Fargo. While working at the bank, she met the love of her life, Leo Makelky. They were married Nov. 15, 1948, at St. Joseph’s Church in Mandan.

In April 1950, Leo and Charlotte moved to Glendive, Mont., where Leo began his career with Montana Dakota Utilities Co. Their son, Mark, was born in Glendive in 1953 at the NP Hospital, where Charlotte had worked as a clerk. After Mark’s birth, Charlotte dedicated herself to being a full-time mother. In 1955, Leo was transferred and the family moved to Minot, and their daughter, Jean, was born in 1958. Minot has been their home since that time.

Charlotte loved to play bridge with her friends and her neighborhood birthday parties. She also loved the many travels that she and her daughter, Jean, shared together.

Charlotte was an excellent seamstress, sewing many dance costumes for Jean as a young girl. Many of the other mothers would copy her pattern for these. She also had an intense interest in North Dakota History and enjoyed reading many books on the subject.

In the latter years, she had been cared for at Edgewood Vista and Trinity Homes both in Minot and during the flood of this year she was moved to Deaconness Health Center in Northwood. She most recently received very special care at Angel Care Adult Foster Care Home in Carpio.

Surviving family includes her husband of 62 years, Leo, Minot; her daughter, Jean Fegley and Wayne Knutson, Berthold; son, Mark Makelky and his wife, Joanne, Bismarck; granddaughter, Jennifer Rahr and her husband, Ben, along with Charlotte’s first great-grandson, James, Glendive, Mont.; granddaughter, Angela Makelky, Littleton, Colo.; niece, Bette Poppe, Bismarck; nephew, Larry Messmer, Washington, and a special nephew, Mike Makelky, and all Makelky nieces and nephews.

Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Phyllis Knight and Doris Messmer; niece, Becky Knight; and nephew, Randy Messmer.

Memorials are preferred to Salvation Army Flood Relief Fund, the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, or to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, Minot.

Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at