Heath Elmer Braunschweig, 48

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Heath Elmer Braunschweig, 48

Heath Elmer Braunschweig, 48, left this world unexpectedly on Thursday, August 12, 2021, as the result of a devastating accident at work.

Heath was born in Cherokee, Iowa, to Paul and Jody (Selk) Braunschweig on October 6, 1972. Heath was the 13th grandchild in the Selk family and Grandpa Elmer’s namesake.

From the very beginning, Heath was a stubborn fella of few words, but he always had a smart-alack comment. On the first day of kindergarten, he came home from school and said, “Teacher said I don’t have to come back ... because I already know everything!”

He spent his childhood years running around his parents’ farm, often with his cousin and partner-in-crime, Frank Heys. He had lots of wild stories from his youth -- he had free rein of endless acres between his home and his grandparents,’ and he loved trapping, hunting, fishing, and riding three- and four-wheelers.

The CB radio was big on the farm in those days, and Heath’s handle was “King Kong.” If you can believe it, his mother used to call him “Shorty” -- that is, until she had to crane her neck to look him in the eye. Then she just called him Heath.

He was very proud of his first truck, which he bought at 14 with the money he earned trapping raccoons and selling the hides. And yes, you better believe it was a Ford.

Heath graduated with the class of 1991 from Sioux Central in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, where he played football and baseball, sang in choir, and goofed around on stage with the drama club. He also played trumpet in the school band (Or was it trombone? We can’t remember -- we’re just glad he gave it up!)

Heath refused to settle down and get married until he found the perfect woman. When he met Miss Kayla Parker, he knew she was the one. They married on August 14, 2010, at the Miles City Town and Country Club. Kayla, whom he teasingly referred to as “WOMAN!” was the love of Heath’s life, and he took great pleasure in giving her gifts -- he always kept a running list of things he thought Kayla would like.

Heath and Kayla were blessed with 3 beautiful children: Hadley Louise, born April 24, 2010; Preston Paul, born August 19, 2011; and Chael Alan, born July 23, 2014.

For the past 18 years, Heath was dedicated to his work on the BNSF building and bridges crew; but when he wasn’t working, he loved golf, football, and working with his hands. He developed many hobbies and was good at whatever he picked up, whether it was woodworking or restoring old pedal tractors for his boys.

Of course, Heath’s favorite thing to do was spend time with his family. He shared so much with his sons -- especially his love for the outdoors, his humor, and his enthusiasm for the Vikings and the Hawkeyes. His son Preston (9) loved to play and ride four-wheelers with his dad, and he was looking forward to his first hunting season with him this year. His son Chael (7) wants the world to know that his dad was a good man; he was big and strong, and he was Chael’s hero. Chael will miss wrestling with him and having his dad root for him at soccer games, but Kayla and the boys know Heath will be cheering himself hoarse from heaven.

Heath is survived by his wife Kayla; sons Preston and Chael; parents Paul and Jody Braunschweig of Miles City; sister Paula Braunschweig of Miles City; nieces Lynae and Ariella Reep; nephews Corbin, Keenan, and Weston Reep; in-laws Richard & DuAnn Parker, Tara Parker, and Amanda (Chinook) Reep. Heath leaves behind so many, many friends and family, and he had silly nicknames for every one of them. If you knew him, he probably had one for you, too.

Heath is preceded in death by his grandparents Smiley and Faye Braunschweig and Elmer and Mae Selk, as well as his baby daughter Hadley. We will celebrate Heath’s life with a service at Grace Bible Church in Miles City on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive friends at Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Miles City on Monday, August 16, 2021 from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

For those wishing to honor Heath’s memory via a contribution, memorials may be sent to the family to be used for his children.

The family would like to thank everyone for surrounding them with the love of Jesus during this time. Heath is surely grinning ear-to-ear to see his family being so well-loved in his absence. Scout out a good campsite for us up there, Heath -- we can’t wait for our next adventure with you.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4