Becky Braunig dies


Becky Braunig
Becky Braunig – photo by Lois Walker

The North Fork lost a valued member of the community on May 29, 2023, with the passing of Becky Braunig, 68.

A native of Texas, Becky was a master gardener and a great source of knowledge on all things botanical. She earned a degree in horticulture from Texas A&M University in the 1970s. She began her career working for San Antonio Botanical Gardens. In 1979, she accepted a job with the San Antonio parks department. She worked there for 25 years, rising to the position of Horticultural Services Superintendent for the City of San Antonio. At the height of her career, she was responsible for more than 300 employees.

In the early 1990s, she married Stanley Haag. They came to the North Fork on their honeymoon, staying at the North Fork Hostel. It was love at first sight. Shortly afterward, they purchased property on Trail Creek Road and over several years built a retirement home there. Becky had been a full-time North Fork resident since 2004.

In addition to contributing to local gardening activities, she was an avid wildlife photographer, a member of the North Fork Landowners Association and the North Fork Preservation Association, and a volunteer with North Valley Search and Rescue.

Becky was a sensitive, kind, and generous soul. She will be fondly remembered by her many friends for her love of plants, animals, and the North Fork. And, as many would note, for the delicious stuffed jalapeƱo peppers she created and brought to many a North Fork potluck dinner.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Sissy Braunig and her husband Von Stanley Haag. Columbia Mortuary is handling arrangements. A memorial will be planned later this summer.

Fern Hart dies

Fern Hart
Fern Hart

From her obituary published in the Missoulian on Jan. 29, 2023 . . .

Fern Hart, former Missoula Clerk and Recorder/Treasurer and County Commissioner, died on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 in St. Patrick Hospital. She was 94. Fern was born Juanita Fern Morgan in Amarillo, Texas. She went by her middle name throughout her personal and professional life, and it was certainly as Fern that she was known during her 54 years in Missoula. Fern’s parents, Gertrude and W.T. “Shy” Morgan, had deep roots in West Texas, where Shy headed the Collingsworth County road department and drove the big Caterpillar maintainers to keep the Caprock roads clear. Later, he was the foreman of the Caterpillar repair shop in Amarillo, supervising the big equipment serving the roads of all the Panhandle. Continue reading Fern Hart dies

Karen Chesna passes

From Cecily McNeil . . .

To the Flathead Valley friends and pupils of Karen Chesna (formerly Karen C. McNeil):

You may not have heard that Karen suffered a fatal heart attack on August 6, at her home in Missoula.

She is survived by her sister Barbara and her two children: Henry and Fiona McNeil.

If you wish to join her family, friends, and pupils in memory of Karen, please contact the Arbor Day foundation at the following address: There you may order a tree to be planted in a U.S. national forest as a living memorial for Karen.