Evelyn Grace (Kennedy) Brainard


April 21, 2021

Evelyn Grace (Kennedy) Brainard, 95, passed away peacefully October 23, 2020. She was born October 13, 1925 at home in Rosebud County, Montana to Joe and Gladys (Noyes) Kennedy. She joined two brothers James and Eugene. She grew up on the family ranch on the Rosebud Creek in Eastern Montana and attended rural elementary schools until the family moved to Manhattan in 1936. After graduating from Manhattan High School in 1943, Evelyn attended Dillon Normal School (Western Montana College, Dillon) obtaining a teaching certificate. She then taught third grade in Belgrade, Montana.

Evelyn married Bill Don Brainard on January 7, 1948. They started their life of cattle ranching and raising quarter horses on the Brainard Ranch located five miles south of Maudlow. All five children were raised there and on the ranch they moved east of Manhattan in 1963. Evelyn was a great ranch wife and mother. She provided countless meals for work crews and hungry kids. Evelyn was a substitute teacher in Manhattan and was her children’s main chauffer and chaperone for various school events.

After retiring, Bill and Evelyn moved to Three Forks. During the following years, they continued to keep up on the local team sports and followed their grandchildren in their activities.

After extensive family genealogical research of the Noyes family, it was confirmed that Evelyn was a 12th generation descendent of passengers on the Mayflower (1620). In January of 2017, she became a member of the Mayflower Society.

Evelyn was an avid reader, excellent cook, seamstress, and Super Grandma. She belonged to bowling leagues in Manhattan and Bozeman. She qualified and attended the National Bowling Tournament in Tucson, Arizona in 1995.

Evelyn was a member of the Gallatin County Cowbells, Maudlow Women’s Club, Dry Creek Jolly Neighbors, Three Forks Area Historical Society, and Manhattan Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed playing cards and sharing lunch with her friends at the Manhattan and Three Forks Senior Centers and later at Parkhaven in Manhattan. She attended Three Forks Methodist Church.

Evelyn was proceeded in death by her husband Bill Don, parents Joe and Gladys, brothers Jim and Gene and one grandson, Jeff Hedges.

She is survived by sister-in-law ‘s, Elsie Kennedy of Manhattan and Eldean Rempel of Federal Way, Washington; Daughters, Kathy (Butch) Damuth, Gayle (Paul) Clifford, and Sue Brainard all of the Gallatin Valley Area, Jeri Lynn (Mike) Ward of Dillon and one son, Dean (Betty Ann) Brainard of Shepherd, Montana; grandchildren Brent (Melissa) Damuth, Blaine (Amy) Damuth, Chuck (Lora) Clifford, Laura (Darin) Parr, Cathy (Ty) Parker, Melissa (Jason) Kittlemann, Val Brainard , Nick Hosley, Kris Ward and Brian Ward; 14 great grandchildren and 3 great, great grandchildren, cousins and numerous nieces and nephews.

A public memorial will be held May 8, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at Taylor Park in Manhattan, Montana to honor the life of Evelyn. Memorials may be sent to the Manhattan Senior Center

PO Box 5, Manhattan, Mt 59741; Three Forks Area Historical Society PO Box 116, Three Forks, Mt 59752 or a charity of your choice.


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