Cover photo for Ray Braunagel's Obituary
Ray Braunagel Profile Photo
1953 Ray 2022

Ray Braunagel

September 26, 1953 — December 6, 2022

Ray Braunagel (69) passed away Dec 6th, 2022.

A Memorial Service will be held on July 8, 2023, at 10:30 AM at Spirit of Life Catholic Church, 801 1st St SE, Mandan. Interment will follow at Mandan Union Cemetery.

To view the livestream of Ray's service, visit the Spirit of Life Catholic Church Facebook page. To view his tribute video, scroll to the bottom of the webpage.

Ray was born September 26th to Helen & Claude Braunagel in Bismarck. Ray was number five of seven siblings even though he believed he was #1. Ray had many challenges over his lifetime but he took each one in stride and always was out and about and in his words “getting things done” his favorite thing to say. Especially if we had asked him to get something done. He might have been too busy that day and maybe he would get to it tomorrow. We never really saw all the things he was getting done but it did keep him busy all day. Ray gave a new meaning to the phrase “Oh, Brother”.

Ray attended Bismarck Public Schools and graduated from BHS class of 1972. He worked many jobs over the years and each job gave him numerous stories to tell. Like his time as a baker where he lost a finger which ended his career as a baker. Then he moved on to construction, custom combining and restaurant work included Ground Round and Johnny Carino’s. Ray didn’t drink but worked at the Silver Dollar Bar for many years which in his stories he referenced as “my bar”.  Ray was an impressionable guy, he made friends and memories everywhere he went. No matter the business, if Ray was one of their customers, they ALL knew him and would tell stories about him as well.  I would say “Oh, Brother…yep that’s our Ray.” We were always amazed as he was truly one of those guys that no matter where we were HE KNEW SOMEBODY, and it was a MUST to stop and visit. Everything and everyday ran on Ray’s time.

Some of Ray’s characteristics that made him special were he loved our mom and dad so very much that he never left home. After our dad passed away in 1997, Ray and our mom became the best friends of friends and enjoyed their time together. Ray would drive our mom where ever she wanted or needed to go. The miles those two put on around town and the places they went, always amazed us and somedays worried us. But they were “together getting things done.” Ray had a passion for fishing and he enjoyed the stories so much that he told them over and over and wished he could still fish today. Ray loved to cook and created MANY of his own recipes like his famous egg salad & BBQ ribs which included secret ingredients that he sometimes withheld unless he really liked you and wanted you to know. He knew where the BEST caramel rolls and pancakes were served. It was always a secret cause he didn’t want everybody else to get them before him. If we made or bought him caramel rolls or pancakes and would ask if were they good? Ray would always reply “they were alright”.  After our mom passed away in 2017, Ray was lost without his best friend. He was a loyal nephew and loved all his little aunties he visited them all on a regular basis and always took them some of his special treats. They gave him comfort and reminded him of our mom it broke his heart, as they too, grew old and passed away.

Ray loved his nieces and nephews, some of his favorite people were his great nieces and nephews. His sisters and brothers were on his favorite list most days, but some days he would say, “we were just too dang bossy!” We all loved him dearly and only wanted what was Best for him. We all received his phone calls that kept us on our toes as to what he got done and where the day took him. He always started with “I got good news for you” and we always said, “let’s hear it.” Somedays at the end of our talk, we were left wondering, “just what was the news he called about?” But we always knew that tomorrow’s phone calls would bring more news from Ray.

Ray had two very special doctors that he said were his hero’s Dr. Lisa Murdoff and Dr. Lisa Clairmont. To Ray they were his friends. At each visit they would give him a hug and always asked about his latest recipe. Focus was not listed above as one of Ray’s good characteristics as to him it was optional. He always said he had real doctor visits, “because they listened to me and didn’t rush me with a bunch of medical questions.” To Ray these were the not normal dreaded doctor appointments. He looked forward to seeing them and he would always say, “I get to see Lisa tomorrow.”  We are so incredibly grateful to both of them for the care they gave Ray.

With sadness, we let him go, with a heart full of memories are his brothers & sisters: Don Braunagel (Gloria), Linda (John) Ohlsen, Ken Braunagel, Eileen (Harry) Heidrich, & Cindy (Tracy) Vanous. Nephews: Pat Buck, Don (Becci) Braunagel, Dennis (Amy) Braunagel Nieces: Kristi (Kevin) Miller, Cheryl (Kerry) Schatz, Wendy Ohlsen Iszler, Jody (Jason) Foster, Jessie (Brad) Lechner, Tiffany (Duane) Kroh, Andrea Heidrich (Don), Heather (Colin) Engel, Bonnie (Shane) Balkowitsch. Melody (Alan) Wilson, And numerous great nieces and nephews who all knew their “UNCLE RAY”.

Meeting Ray at Heavens gates is our mom and dad Helen & Claude Braunagel, his sister and brother-in-law Donna & Basil Buck, Sister-in-law Kris Eggen Braunagel, niece Katie Braunagel & nephew Harris Heidrich and numerous other family members and dear friends near and dear to Ray’s Heart.  

Ray, “in Heaven, there are no fishing limits or snags to lose a jig. So cast away and fish all day with hopes the fish are BIG.” Give Mom, Dad and Donna big hugs from all of us. Love you always your family xoxoxo

To view the livestream,

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ray Braunagel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 8, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Spirit of Life Catholic Church

801 1st St SE, Mandan, ND 58554

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