Peter Joseph ('PJ') Braun

Member for
11 years · 6 months · 8 days
Find A Grave ID


If you're reading this, I assume that either: 1) you came across one of the memorials I've created or "adopted" over the years... OR, 2) you are a fellow "Graver" & want to know more about the "old guy" who sent you a suggestion on one of your memorials.

In either case, here's a bit of my "story", so you can know about who you're working with... WHY I do what I do & WHY I say what I say!
I've chosen to use my full name rather than some "handle" for this site. I was named after my paternal & maternal grandfathers... & this site IS all about family AND remembering people; direct "kin" & others who somehow touched our lives.

That said, my friends & collaborators typically just call me "PJ".

I'm now "actively" RETIRED... ;o)

As an adult, I've had two separate careers; first = US Navy for 21 years, retiring as a MCPO - aka "Master Chief" [E-9]; followed by 24 years of Washington state public service as a master training specialist & workplace learning/performance consultant.

I've spent the past 15+ years researching my family history, as well as my wife's family. Most of these families are at least originally, from the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota & Michigan.

Initially working exclusively on my extended family; over the past 8+ years, I've begun to collaborate with other "Gravers" (by adding "flowers" & researching to confirm/suggest added life details & family links to established memorials).

These days, I am more focused... now, when I "walk a cemetery", I bring my camera & take photos of markers for veterans, infants & youngsters. Then I go home & put on my "researcher's hat"... to see if I can find/confirm life data/details about them &/or their families.

If/when I find a family plot (& later can find enough to "get the ball rolling"); I create memorials for the parents/family members of my MILITARY "brothers & sisters-in-arms"; those who honorably served our great country... &/or the infants & kids who died before they had any chance to show us all they MIGHT have done.

I also volunteer my time & research skills as a genealogist with the Missing In America Project ( our mission is to identify unclaimed cremains currently "sitting on the shelf" & see if they were honorably discharged veterans. If so, we arrange for a burial with full honors in a State or National Veteran's Cemetery.

I have special respect/place in my heart for service members, men/women, who were combat wounded & displayed their courage-in-action; those with grave markers adorned with the "Purple Heart" -- especially those who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedoms... = "Sacrifice without remembrance is meaningless."

Most memorials I've created (or "adopted") over the years are for members of my extended family trees... ALTHOUGH, some of them are WAAAAAY out there... on some tiny branches. The rest are for my MILITARY "brothers & sisters-in-arms" (& their families); helping insure THEY & their sacrifices are not forgotten as time passes.

When possible, I create detailed FAG memorials so future researchers will get a more robust picture of who these folks were in their time here on earth (& the lives they touched).…"Die Liebe Horet Nimmer Auf" (translated from German = "The Love Never Ends.")

In my heart, I know that to hold/share a meaningful memory of an individual, you need to know a bit more "about the dash" -- i.e., what happened to them "between their birth & death dates".

My heartfelt belief is that every individual/family has a "story to share"; a "story" that STARTS to become "visible" when you begin to examine where they came from AND where they lived & loved... even more "surfaces" when you examine what they did for a living & "HOW" they chose to live their lives over the years... what they believed & the values they held; i.e., "what guided them".

My goal in these memorials is to tell-their-story - "as I understand it" - based on what I found in my research. I believe that if/when you begin to know their "story"; you will know more about "who they REALLY were". It's not always a happy or romantic story, but personal courage... when confronting life challenges {even the routine, just-get-through-the-day challenges} is a trait I admire.

My goal, over time, is to leave a trail of electronic "bread crumbs" on the Internet to help anyone researching these families. So... if you're related to someone on my list of memorials, feel free to contact me at the e-mail below & I'll share what I have on them. AND, if your relationship is closer to them than mine, I'll definitely consider a transfer request... if you have more to "finish their story." ;o)

I freely share ALL my data as a gift. I do this as a heartfelt tribute to my mother who taught her children key life skills by HOW she lived her life... "take without forgetting & give without remembering."
[-Elizabeth Bibesco-]

Mom knew, at the deepest level, that life REALLY IS a "team sport".

"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka..."Dr. Seuss" -- [1904–1991].

If you have additional data to share that can enhance these memorials, please contact me by e-mail or by submitting your information through Find-A-Grave. Namasté, "PJ"

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