FORT FAIRFIELD – Kathleen Ann “Kathy” Braeuninger, 60, wife of Dean C. Hunter, passed away Wednesday evening, Jan. 9, 2013, at a Presque Isle health care facility, due to complications from cancer. She was born June 13, 1952, in Washington, D.C., daughter of Albert Dale and Kathleen (Armstrong) Braeuninger.
Kathy grew up in Suburban Maryland and spent three years from 1958 through 1960, traveling through Europe while her father was stationed in Frankfort, Germany. Kathy graduated from Sherwood High School in 1970, and attended Montgomery College, Rockville, Md., taking courses in criminal justice. In 1973, her daughter Virginia “Ginni” was born. Kathy felt that Ginni was her greatest accomplishment, and they were always very close – even attending college together. In 1979, Kathy realized her dream of being a police officer and joined the police department in Ocean City, Md., becoming one of the town’s first female officers. She was primarily a patrol officer, which she loved. She also headed up the “Noise Unit” and the Community Policing Unit for several summers. She was a trained intoximeter operator for more than 25 years, and ran hundreds of breath tests. Kathy was the coordinator and member of Ocean City Police Department Peer Support Team. She was a desk sergeant for several years towards the end of her career. Kathy was promoted to police officer first class – PFC in 1991, sergeant in 1996, and was acting lieutenant in the summer of 2000. During her career, she received numerous awards and recognitions for her service. Kathy enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves in 1988. She was activated and deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. She served on the security team as a master-at-arms for Navy Fleet Hospital 15 out in the middle of the desert, supporting the Marine forces in the area. She left the reserves in 1996 as a master-at-arms first class. She received numerous awards, recognitions and medals for her service. Kathy purchased a home in Newark, Md., and loved living in her 1920′s farmhouse for 21 years! She and her dogs loved walking in the fields and woods every day, no matter the weather. She returned to college and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Salisbury State University in 1996. In 1999, Kathy married Dean Hunter – they had a blast “eloping” to Las Vegas. Kathy retired from OCPD in 2006 after 27 years of service. She was the first female officer to retire from the department. After her retirement, Kathy, Dean and her parents moved into her dream house – a lovely Victorian along the river in Fort Fairfield. Kathy became an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where she made many dear friends. She was an avid birdwatcher and became one of the first members of the “Aroostook Birders.” She was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Paul Lockhart Post No. 6187, Fort Fairfield, and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 10, Ocean City, Md. Kathy enjoyed flower gardening, doing genealogy research and walking with her dogs. She also loved spending time at the family camp in Sinclair and the family farm in Woodland. In 2007, Kathy became a part-time victim witness advocate with the Aroostook County District Attorney’s office – a job that allowed her to combine her experience as a police officer and her background in psychology to help victims in need. She regretfully resigned from her position when she became ill in 2012.
Kathy was predeceased by her father, Albert D. “Dale” Braeuninger; and grandparents, Albert and Mary Braeuninger of Philadelphia, Henry and Annie Armstrong of Caribou. She is survived by her husband of 13 years, Dean of Fort Fairfield; mother, Kathleen E. Braeuninger of Caribou; one daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Bill Magee of Columbia, Md.; one brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Amy Braeuninger of Salem, Ore.; aunt, Mary Beatty of Scottsdale, Ariz.; several nieces and nephews; as well as her beloved dachshunds, Tyler and Nikki.
Friends may call 7-9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, 144 Main St., Fort Fairfield. The funeral service will be conducted 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 166 Main St., Fort Fairfield, with the Rev. Kevin Kinsey officiating. A time of continued fellowship with refreshments will be held immediately after the funeral service at VFW Paul Lockhart Post No. 6187, Presque Isle Street, Fort Fairfield. Interment will take place later in the spring at Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Caribou. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may contribute in memory of Kathy to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, care of Gloria Towle, P.O. Box 737, Fort Fairfield, ME 04742. Envelopes will be available at both the funeral home and church.