Shirley Bratcher Obituary

Shirley  Bratcher
Shirley Bratcher

September 6, 1936 - September 14, 2020
Born in Vermillon, Indiana
Resided in Anchorage, Alaska


Shirley Bratcher, 84, died peacefully of natural causes at home, with family by her side. After graduating from Clinton, Ind., in 1955, Shirley met her husband Lee, who swept her off her feet. They married and he enlisted in the Air Force. They were stationed in Louisiana at Barksdale Air Force Base for 3 years. During that time, they grew their family. First, they had their daughter, Donnetta, and then their son Roger.

Once they left Louisiana, they transferred around to numerous places: New Mexico, Arizona, and then overseas to the Tachikawa Air Force Base in Japan. It was at that time that they welcomed their daughter, Anndrea.

Lee's tour was over, which meant they would be returning stateside. Once they got home, they traveled to Hawaii, Arizona, and Maryland, where Lee was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base. After 20 years of service, Lee retired from the military in 1968. The Bratcher family packed up the car, camper and kids for an adventure of a lifetime - moving to Alaska! Taking in all the sites on their road trip, they enjoyed fishing, hunting and the great outdoors.

Now that Lee was retired from the military, Shirley continued her passion for teaching. It began in Japan and carried on while she was in Maryland. While obtaining her degree in early childhood development, she also worked at the Spenard Kiddy Drop daycare center. Continuing her pursuit to own a facility one day, Shirley received an offer to buy the Spenard Kiddy Drop in 1972 - a dream come true!

Mentoring countless parents, staff, children and family over the course of her career, she leaves a legacy of excellence for the profession. Over 35 years, retiring in 2007 - a remarkable achievement!

Shirley was devoted to her family and admired by her extensive network of family and friends. She was a wonderful person with such a delightful personality. There are countless memories of Shirley's kindness. She will be deeply missed by all of us.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Lee; daughter, Donnetta and husband Frank; son, Roger; and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents; sisters; and daughter, Anndrea.

Shirley wishes to be placed together with Lee in their final resting place at Fort Richardson National Cemetery, and to have a private celebration of their lives.

A way to honor her is by spending more time with your loved ones, be kind and help those in need.

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