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HARRISON, Ark. — David Bruce Braaksma, of Harrison, Ark., formerly of Champaign, passed away Monday (Nov. 4, 2019) at home. He was 71 years old.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at Holt Memorial Chapel. Graveside services with military honors will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at Fayetteville National Cemetery. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers. A celebration of life will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at Woodland Hills Family Church, Branson, Mo. Rex Childers will officiate.

The son of John Dewey Braaskma Sr. and Ruth L. (Conner) Braaksma was born Dec. 28, 1947, in Randolph, Wis.

David was a U.S. Army veteran, having served as a paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He served two tours in Vietnam during his years of service.

David retired from the University of Illinois after 40 years. His given nickname from his friends was “Doc Braak” for having extensive knowledge about most subjects. He was a history and geography buff and loved to travel. David also loved sailing and flying. He loved to attend air shows and flew in all of the WWII Commemorative aircrafts, except for two. David had been attending Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, John Dewey Braaksma Jr.; and one sister, Jeanette (Herrling) Zapata.

Survivors include one sister and her husband, Patricia and Darrell Wiskur of Harrison, Ark.; and beloved nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and other family and friends.

Veteran US