Pierce Brane


October 26, 1936 - November 15, 2016


James Pierce Brane was born Sunday, October 25, 1936 in Wabash, Indiana to Glenn and Mary Catherine (Baker) Brane. While yet a young boy, Pierce’s family moved to Marion, Indiana where he spent most of his boyhood until he finished his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Marion College. He was active in his high school band, track team and baseball team. As a boy, he decided to be a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals when most of his buddies chose the Chicago Cubs. While attending Marion College, he was part of a men’s quartet that sang and traveled as representatives of the college.

Pierce met Ruth E. Hildebrandt at a summer youth camp in 1956. They were married April 20, 1957; then moved to Brookings, South Dakota in 1958. He then lived in Sioux Falls and Mitchell. In his earlier years, Pierce was active with barbershop choruses and quartets. He was part of the organization, Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA). At age 29, he was the youngest member to serve as president for the Central States District of the Society. Pierce also used his musical abilities in the churches where he was actively involved.  For many years, he directed church choirs, led the congregational singing and sang solos.

For most of his career, Pierce was in sales. His friendly demeanor and easy going style served to make him a natural at promoting products and services. He completed a Master’s degree in the 80’s and for a brief period worked with the South Central Community Action Program serving as their director of Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Mitchell. While living in South Dakota, Pierce also enjoyed the hobby of raising and riding horses.  Pierce’s early love for the St. Louis Cardinals turned out to be a life-long passion. He followed all their games, attended many games either by television or in person, and knew all their history and stats. He almost always wore something red; be it a Cardinals jacket, a ball cap or his signature red western hat.

Upon retirement, Pierce and Ruth relocated to the Shawnee area of Kansas City. While living in Kansas, Pierce was a member of the St. Joseph (MO) Voices of America Barbershop Chorus for a brief time. He also worked part time with Balls Food Store and Target Stores. As a product demonstrator, it was no surprise that he made many new friends along the way. He epitomized the expression: “He never met a stranger.” 

Pierce is survived by his wife of nearly sixty years, Ruth; five children, Lynette Lloyd, Bradley Brane and wife Anne, Sondra Bernard, Carmen Mueller and husband Roger and Angela Egbadon. He also has seven grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and a host of dear friends.   He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Verdean “Dean” Brane.


None Scheduled


Saturday, November 26, 2016
10:30 AM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Sunset Memorial Park
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by Howard and Alice Mae Kennedy on November 23, 2016
Remembering those days on the farm in Beresford and getting to know the Brane kids. We trust your memories will bring you joy even as you miss Pierce.
Posted by Dave & Barb Pratt. De Smet on November 22, 2016
Ruth, sorry for your loss. I don't know if you remember us; you stayed at our home when you were in De Smet for a Mission Trip, and we came down to Mitchell to see you once. Thinking of you. Dave & Barb Pratt now at Vermillion, SD
Posted by Chet Whitney on November 22, 2016
Pierce introduced our family to Linwood Wesleyan Church in Sioux Falls,in which we have been members for nearly 50 years. I also enjoyed many years singing with him.
Posted by Matt Wilgers on November 21, 2016
As heavy hearted as i am to write this, I am comforted bu the fact that there is one epic reunion happening now. God's choir is one member closer to competition! I know Pierce and dad are palling around again!
Posted by Shirley Schoffelman on November 19, 2016
Ruth: Although it has been quite a number of years since we have seen each other - you moved to Kansas and we moved to Wisconsin I have many wonderful memories of our time together in Mitchell. It has been over 5 years since Les left us. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family
Posted by Kathy Shroyer on November 19, 2016
I so remember his love of barbershop! He was a man of great character-my condolences.
Posted by Ed and Lois Strand. on November 19, 2016
Our love and prayers. See you in Mitchell.
Posted by Jo Moore on November 19, 2016
Carmen and family, you remain in my prayers. I am sorry for your loss, yet rejoice with you, knowing your father loved the Lord, and is now in His presence! Treasure your memories!
Posted by Trish Lestelle on November 19, 2016
So sorry for the loss of your beloved father. Your family is strong and you share a bond together that can be a channel of love and strength during this Tim of sorrow. Much love to you all.
Posted by Shnnon o'keeffe and demian and llake and dan and j on November 19, 2016
We feel a part of your family just knowing these 30 years your fabulous daughter and hearing all the wonderful family tails! Sing in heaven loud and strong...we need the music!
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