Nelson 'Bud' Brahn, 92

Nelson "Bud" Brahn age 92 of Ionia, IA died Sunday, January 5, 2020, at the Floyd County Memorial Hospital in Charles City, IA.

Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 20, 2020, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory -- Olson Chapel in Nashua with Rev. Russ Leeper celebrating the service.

Friends may greet the family from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory -- Olson Chapel in Nashua. Visitation continues an hour before the service on Monday at the funeral home.

Interment will be held at a later date. Online condolences for the Brahn family may be left at

Nelson Brahn began his long and productive life on Feb. 5, 1927, when he was born to Charles and Katherine (Bager) Brahn in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

He grew up in a family that included three brothers and one sister. Lakehurst was where the famous Hindenberg disaster occurred, and as an 11-year-old boy, Nelson witnessed the explosion of the giant zeppelin that made news across the globe.

He attended school in New Jersey, and on Oct. 13, 1945, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Fort Benning in Georgia for his basic training. His memory of his time in Georgia revolved around the snakes that were numerous in the camp, and he liked to tell his family that “you’d wait for the sergeant to come in and shoot them before you got up.”
After basic training, he was sent to Japan as part of the U.S. occupation force, and it was in Japan that he met the love of his life, Virginia Huffman, an Ionia native who was working with the civil service in Tokyo.

When he was honorably discharged from the Army on Oct. 17, 1946, he returned to New Jersey, and on July 10, 1947, he and Virginia were married in Tom’s River, New Jersey. Their family quickly grew to include three sons — Dennis, Curtis, and Dexter.

He worked at a variety of jobs and trades — from plumbing to driving an egg truck to working as a carpenter — before taking a job as an electrician at the Lakehurst Naval Station.

In 1955, the Brahn’s lives changed forever when Virginia’s brother passed away at a young age. Nelson, Virginia, and the boys packed up a 1946 Chevrolet truck and a car and moved to Iowa to help on the Huffman family farm.

His boys remember their father was a hard worker, who could fix anything — from TVs to furnaces to plumbing issues — and Nelson was one of those guys who had a heart of gold. If you asked for help, Nelson never turned you down.

He liked to fish, dance, play cards, and tend to his garden; in fact, even in his 90s, he’d help around the farm, and he’d faithfully weed his garden. He’d drive a tractor to the plot, have a chair set up, and when he got tired, he sat in the chair, caught his breath, and, when he was ready, went back to work.

He also loved his remote-control airplanes, and they hung in his three-stall garage — prompting the boys’ friends to nickname it the “Brahn Air Force.”

Nelson loved his wife, his boys, and his dogs — and his canine friends already miss him — but he absolutely adored his “grands” and “great grands.” He always had candy for them, and if it was OK with grandpa, it was definitely OK for them, no matter what their parents thought.

He served on the Nashua School Board and was a member of the American Legion post in Nashua and the Ionia United Church of Christ.

Nelson passed away quickly, which is exactly what he wanted. But up until his last days, he remained active — helping with the harvest and picking apples this past fall — and an inspiration to his family and his friends. He will be deeply missed.

Nelson is survived by his wife, Virginia Brahn of Ionia, IA; three sons, Dennis (Carol) Brahn of Ionia, IA, Curtis Brahn of Ionia, IA and Dexter (Janice) Brahn of Ionia, IA; five grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Millie Brahn of New Jersey.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Lloyd Brahn, Wilbur Brahn and Charlie Brahn; one sister, Alma Brahn; his in-laws, Lyle and Esther Huffman; brother in law, Stanley and wife Eva Huffman; and sister in law Thalia Huffman

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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