Cover photo for Ferne Marie Brannan's Obituary
Ferne Marie Brannan Profile Photo

Ferne Marie Brannan

November 1, 1931 — November 5, 2023

Devils Lake

Ferne Marie Brannan



Ferne M Brannan, 92 of Devils Lake ND passed away on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at CHI, St. Alexius Health, Devils Lake Hospital with loving family at her bedside.

Ferne Marie, daughter of Edwin and Marguerite (Boatz) Bonn was born on November 1, 1931, at Mylo ND. She grew up on the family farm in the Mylo area, attended Pleasant Valley Country school until the 8th grade. She then was a boarding student at St. Mary’s Academy in Devils Lake, graduating with the class of 1949. While a student she worked at Mercy Hospital and Fairmont Creamery.

Ferne was united in marriage to her precious Thomas J. Brannan on October 21, 1950, at Sacred Heart Church in Cando ND. They grew up together in the Mylo/Bisbee area and were special friends to each other their entire life.

Soon after their marriage, Tom was called to serve his country, so Ferne returned to live with her parents until his return in 1953.  They established their home in Devils Lake where they would live, work, and raise their family through the years.

Ferne was Tom’s partner in every way. She worked beside him as owners and operators of Toms’ Texaco, later Toms’ Westland Oil. Ferne was never idle.  She was a devoted wife, and loving mother and grandmother first and foremost, but also had a 27-year career with Mercy Hospital. She started as a CNA, then Ward Clerk and retired in 1997 after working many years in the business office. She also worked as a paraprofessional at St. Joseph’s School when needed.

Ferne’s talents were many. She was an accomplished seamstress, sewing cheerleading uniforms, prom, bridesmaid and wedding dresses and so much more. Her sewing talent extended to crocheting afghans to fancy tablecloths, and doilies which she beautifully created and shared with family and friends. As the children were growing up, Ferne was the go-to-mom for making brownies, pies, and sloppy joes for all the bake sales and concession stands. Sharing time and talent was second nature to Ferne. She loved entertaining family, friends, the bridge club, whist club, and hosting holidays and special occasions. Her Christmas delicacies were always the highlight of the holiday season. Ferne enjoyed gardening, dancing, fishing and time at Woodlake.  

Ferne was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and Altar Society where she served as President and was part of the work crew who served the Camp Grafton soldier’s meals for 2 weeks during summer training.  

Ferne treasured her family with unconditional love. They meant the absolute world to her. She enjoyed time spent with dear friends here and with the many friends made when they wintered in Fort Collins, Colorado for 15 years and at the cabin at Woodlake in the summer.

Eventide Heartland Care became Ferne’s “Home” as she called it, where she felt safe and warm, making new friends with the residents, and loving, caring staff, participating in all activities, and attending Mass weekly. God Bless You All!

Ferne’s loving family include her sons James (Diane) Brannan, Fort Collins, Co and Robert (Brenda) Brannan, Duluth MN; daughters Mary (Jim) Ziegler, Devils Lake, Bette (Curt) Alvestad, Wellington CO and Annette (David) Buchmeier also of Devils Lake; grandchildren Jennifer (John) Caplinger, Douglas (Carmen) Brannan: Matthew (Cindy) Ziegler, Marley (Laura) Ziegler, Andrew Ziegler: Kimberly (Emily) Alvestad, Jacob (Nicole) Alvestad, Amber (DJ) Kub: Patrick (Kristal) Brannan, Jessica (Lance) Valiquette, Angela (Reed) Fulghum: Shawn (Megan) Buchmeier; 16 great grandchildren; brother John Bonn, Rolla ND; sister Judy Reed, Grand Forks ND; in-laws Edward and Anna Branna, Auburn WA; several nieces, nephews and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband Tom on December 3, 2022, brothers Bernard Bonn and Lawrence Bonn, sister Gladys Bonn and her in-laws Frettia and Julia Brannan.

Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Thursday, November 9, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. with a Rosary and Scripture Service at 6:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, November 10, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church with burial in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery.

The family would like to extend their appreciation to the Staff and Doctors at CHI, St. Alexius for their compassionate care during her hospitalization.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ferne Marie Brannan, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, November 9, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Rosary and Scripture Service

Thursday, November 9, 2023

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, November 10, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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