Obituary Listings

Ilene Dora Branen

October 12, 1922 April 15, 2019
Ilene Dora Branen
There are condolences waiting approval on Ilene's Tribute wall
Obituary for Ilene Dora Branen

Ilene Dora (Draper) Branen, rodeo-er, seamstress, gardener, painter, glass and ceramics artist, and beloved mother and grandmother passed away on April 15, 2019.

Born in Mulhall, OK on October 12, 1922, Ilene was the daughter of Edward Eugene Draper and Almeda (Stagner) Draper. She endured many hardships as a girl, losing several of her six siblings in tragic accidents. “Life is hard,” Ilene was known for saying, “but you just have to keep a-going.”

Life got sweeter for Ilene in the summer of 1938 when she first met Alta Branen. He was riding a horse from Marshall to Mulhall and happened to see Ilene out in the front yard of her parent’s home. He stopped to visit and the next week asked her to a dance at the Potter Church. Alta and Ilene were married just a few months later on January 20, 1939.

They had 55 more years of dancing together before Alta died in 1994, and boy, did they make the most of it. Alta and Ilene were members of a square dance club, The Country Swingers, and enjoyed traveling with the club to square dance competitions.

Ilene ran many businesses and held countless titles over the course of her life. She waitressed at Orlando’s Pfieffer Café, served as the RCA Rodeo Secretary and managed Branen’s Service Station. For 32 years, she was the office manager and book keeper for the company she and Alta owned, Branen’s Motor Services. She also owned Ilene’s Ceramics in Orlando, was the Orlando Senior Citizens Center Director and taught Sunday school at the First Christian Church. How did she seemingly run the entire town of Orlando while also raising a family? We’re not sure, but she was always good at getting things done.

There was one title Ilene particularly loved: Granny. Alta and Ilene’s three children (Lois, Leonard and Patsy) each raised their families nearby and Alta and Ilene were close with their nine grandchildren. Granny always had her kitchen stocked with her grandchildren’s favorite treats: chocolate cake, Hostess Twinkies, Oreos and bologna and cheese for sandwiches.

She was also locally sourcing organic produce and meat years before our grocery stores. Ilene taught her children and grandchildren how to can vegetables and jam. She let them pop fresh tomatoes and strawberries straight into their mouths from her garden. She could catch a fish just as skillfully as she could cook it and early in her marriage was known to go out hunting in the afternoon for the meat she’d later serve the family for dinner that night.

Ilene was a talented seamstress. She sewed western shirts, dresses and doll clothes. She handmade dozens of beautiful quilts and blankets, making sure each of her grandchildren and great grandchildren had something created especially for them.

The last three years of Ilene’s life were spent at Green Valley nursing home. When she moved in, she brought her parrot (Petey), several house plants and lots of candy for the grandkids. She reluctantly left her police scanner at home.

Ilene met many friends at the nursing home and did her best to care for them when they were feeling blue. If there was a prize for most-visited Green Valley resident, Ilene would have won it. Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren visited her and Petey often. Even in her 90s, Ilene knew all the details of her kids’ lives. Her children and grandchildren brought her great joy and she loved exchanging stories with them.

The end of a life is never easy. Our family is comforted by the many, many happy moments Ilene enjoyed over the last 96 years. We’re also grateful for Ilene’s six doting granddaughters who lovingly took turns caring for their Granny over the last several weeks.

Finally, in honor of Granny, we ask that you consider planning a camping trip with some friends or maybe host a big family Christmas with a visit from Santa Claus. Take a child shopping or out for ice cream. Go to an auction and bid on something you don’t need. Create a beautiful piece of art with your hands. Throw a line. Drink a Pepsi. We’ll think of her whenever we do these things and she’ll be with us always.

Preceding Ilene in death were her husband, Alta Ratliff Branen, her parents Ed and Almeda Draper and her six siblings Vadia Phillips, Willard Draper, Orville Draper, Billy Draper, Dorothy Bounds, Della Montgomery.

Ilene is survived by her children: Lois Branen Smith (Jim) of Perry, Leonard Branen (Marilyn) of Perry, Patsy Branen of Missouri; Grandchildren: Tonya Smith Schwartz (Dan), Brenda Branen Wise (Martin), Yolanda Bower Moody (Scott), Alisha Smith Kirtley (Shan), Amy Branen Abraham (Vince), Bobbie Sue Bower (Jeffrey), Rhyan Bower (Lori), Shane Zerr (Loren), Brent Zerr (Stephanie); Great Grandchildren: Justin Schwartz, Jeremy Schwartz, Brigette Zorn, Branen Kirtley, Josh Thompson, Tori Thompson, Tessa Thompson, Julia Waldrup, Hope Conder, Austin North, Tuff Alstrom, Drew Alstrom, Rhyan Scott Bower, Taylor Zerr, Colton Zerr, Reese Zerr, Wren Zerr, Wright Zerr, Weston Zerr, Walker Zerr; Great Great Grandchildren: Jenna Thompson, Aspen Atkinson, Brenley Thompson, Zachary Zorn, Bower Alstrom, Lillian Schwartz.

A celebration of her life will be held at the First Christian Church, at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 22, 2019 with Reverend Joshua Bell officiating, assisted by Reverend Joshua Kerr. She will be laid to rest next to her husband following the service at Grace Hill Cemetery. The viewing will be held on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with family greeting friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Judith Karman Hospice Inc, or Relay For Life in care of Trout Funeral Home of Perry, 1408 N. 7th Street, Perry, OK 73077. The family would like for you to share your memories at

Honorary Pallbearers are Tonya Schwartz, Brenda Wise, Yolanda Moody, Alisha Kirtley, Amy Abraham, Bobbie Sue Bower. Pallbearers are Tuff Alstrom, Drew Alstrom, Branen Kirtley, Jeremy Schwartz, Josh Thompson, Austin North, Shane Zerr, Brent Zerr.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Ilene Dora Branen, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





8:00 AM 4/20/2019 8:00:00 AM - 8:00 PM 4/20/2019 8:00:00 PM
Trout Funeral Home of Perry

1408 N. 7th St.
Perry, OK 73077

Family will be greeting friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Trout Funeral Home of Perry
1408 N. 7th St. Perry 73077 OK
United States

Funeral Service




10:00 AM 4/22/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 4/22/2019 11:00:00 AM
First Christian Church

701 Holly Street
Perry, OK 73077

First Christian Church
701 Holly Street Perry 73077 OK
United States

Cemetery Details


Grace Hill Cemetery Final Resting Place

Memorial Rd and cr120
Perry, OK 73077

Memorial Rd and cr120 Perry 73077 OK
United States

Create new album
Subscribe To Obituaries

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
Ilene Dora Branen

Thank you for sharing your
memory of Ilene

Provide comfort by sending fresh
flowers from our local florist.

Send Flowers
No thanks, please don't show me this again.