The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Dora Brammer Smith, 98, of Port Arthur, Texas passed away Thursday, January 3, 2013 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, Texas.
A first generation American, her parents immigrated to America from Holland in 1904. Born Theodora Cornelia (Dora) Ruysenaars was born in 1914 and would have celebrated her 99th birthday on Saturday, January 5th. She was a lifelong resident of Port Arthur. She attended St. Mary’s and DeQueen elementary schools and was a 1933 graduate of Port Arthur High School. She married her high school sweetheart, Albert Brammer that year and they were married for 40 years. After his passing in 1973, Dora kept busy with several hobbies and service projects. She was very active in the Catholic Church. She attended St. James and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and was a member of St. Joseph’s Church in Port Arthur. Throughout her life Dora (fondly known as MiMi) worked at Bluestein’s, Joey’s Candies and Gifts and the Candle Shop. She was a self-taught musician playing piano and organ and was a member of the Jefferson County Organ Club. She also loved to crochet and was honored by the Port Arthur News as a Senior-on-the-go and dubbed as “Texas’ Betsy Ross” for crocheting an American Flag. She spoke fluent Dutch and one of the highlights of her life was a trip to Holland in 1981 to visit cousins she had communicated with over the years but had never met.
In 1994, she married a former school mate Frank Carl Smith, also a member of the organ club. They enjoyed many short trips together and frequently recalled the Lawrence Welk Show in Branson Missouri. They were married for 8 years when Carl passed away.
Not one to sit still, Dora involved herself in many charities. She was in St. Joseph’s alter society, crocheted stocking hats for the Port Arthur Seaman Center, brought communion to the elderly and sewed pillowcases for the servicemen overseas. Her most recent endeavor was knotting rosaries for a St. Catherine School fund raising project for which she took great pride.
Dora was preceded in death by her parents, 10 brothers and sisters, her first husband, Albert, second husband, Carl, a son, James David, an infant grandchild, Louis Edward Trosclair and a great great grandchild, Gavin Gordy. She is survived by her son Buddy Brammer and wife Eldora, daughter Jo Anne Letney and husband Carroll, son Bob Brammer and wife Suzanne, daughter Peggy Moody and husband Sammy and daughter Lisa Drago and husband Jon. Additionally she is survived by 12 grandchildren, 1 step grandchild, 20 great grandchildren, 2 step great grandchildren and 5 great great grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, January 5, 2013 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Port Arthur with Reverend D. Stephen McCrate officiating. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park under the direction of Levingston Funeral Home in Groves.
A visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday evening from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. with a Rosary Service at 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church or St. Catherine School.