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Kathryn "Kitty" Eilken Braund

October 14, 1920 July 4, 2020
Kathryn "Kitty" Eilken Braund
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Obituary for Kathryn "Kitty" Eilken Braund

Kathryn “Kitty” Eilken Braund, 99, died of natural causes Saturday, July 4, at Benefis Peace Hospice in Great Falls. She was a resident at Eagles Manor in Great Falls.

As per her request, there will be no memorial service at this time. A celebration of her life will be held in October, giving the family time to gather.

Kitty was born Esther Kathryn Kenlie Eilken to parents Louisa Behrens Eilken and Louis Henry Eilken in Redwood City, California on October 14, 1920. She grew up in San Francisco. In her early years she worked as an actress on radio and in special production at the University of California, Berkeley, and was featured yearly in the Mt. Tamapolis play. She left San Francisco after graduating from Polytechnic High School in 1939, traveling to Connecticut to play leading roles with a Connecticut and Massachusetts summer and winter stock company. When this tour was finished, she played in off-Broadway productions and worked for a fledging New York City printing company. She returned to Hollywood, California, and won a leading role in a road show touring Canada and the United States, working with actress Zazu Pitts. When that tour was over, she joined a Broadway company leaving for Europe on a USO tour. The company landed in Naples, Italy, on VJ Day in August of 1945.

Returning again to California after this nine-month tour of European Air Force bases, she married Arthur Fournier with whom she had two sons, Patrick and Gary. After she divorced, she became a production supervisor and vendor liaison for Hughes Aircraft Company.

She married Cyril J. Braund in 1965. They spent forty wonderful years together. She and her husband worked together, he as a Tech Writer for Autonetics and she as a TOCU Librarian for Boeing and then for Autonetics under a top-secret contract. During this marriage, she and her husband raised and bred pure-bred Dalmatians, then Portuguese Water Dogs, and after Cyril passed away in 2003, she raised and bred Havanese. Every dog she owned became an American Kennel Club champion and titled obedience trial dog. In a tribute to her, the writers of the Courier, the national club’s bi-monthly magazine (which she had edited and published for ten years) called Kitty, “one of the grand ladies of the dog world.” She also published and edited a bi-monthly magazine called “Our Havanese,” for world-wide Havanese dog fanciers, while earning championships on the Havanese she owned. She wrote seven dog books, was Contributing Editor for several dog magazines, wrote five novels and was also a popular dog obedience instructor for 40 years, twenty of them spent training at three Air Force bases: Malmstrom AFB, MT, Grand Forks AFB, ND, and Whiteman AFB, MO.

Kitty lived in Great Falls three different times, from 1966-1969, 1977-1993, and from 2000 until her death. From the first time she lived there, she considered Great Falls home.

She is survived by her two beloved boys and their wives, Patrick and Monica Fournier of Great Falls, MT, and Gary and Karen Fournier of Taos, NM; her step-son and his wife, Terry and Penny Braund of Corona, CA; grandchildren, Joseph (Erin) Fournier of Medford, OR, and Reid Fournier of Mechanicsburg, PA, sons of Patrick, James Scott (Nicole) Fournier of Grand Forks, ND and Jeremy (Brianna) Fournier of Delray Beach, FL, son of Gary; Sage Ellefsen of Mechanicsburg, PA, step-daughter of Patrick; Sean (Camille) Bunton of Edmonton, Alberta and Melissa (Ryan Turner) Villeneuve of Lethbridge, Alberta children of Monica Fournier; 11 great-grandchildren; two nieces; two nephews; and three grand-nephews.

Kitty was preceded in death by her husband, Cyril; mother, Louisa Eilken; and brothers, Louis Eilken, Tom Eilken, and Bill Garr.

Memorials may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association, in honor of her husband, Cyril Jerome Braund. Memorial donations may also be made to Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center in Great Falls, a favorite charity of Kitty’s.

To plant a tree in memory of Kathryn "Kitty" Eilken Braund, visit the Tribute Store.

Memorial Contribution

Alzheimer's Association

Maclean Animal Adoption Center


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