Nancy was truly one-of-a-kind, and I am so pleased to have had the chance to know her in the adult world, as well as when I was a child. She will be missed and remembered. She leaves behind so many accomplishments, and her legacy lives on. Thinking of the family, sending condolences.
Thanks for sharing the story of a beautiful life. She had an enduring spirit. May these memories last a lifetime.
I met Ms. Brataas thru my employer. While I didn't agree with her politics, I found her to be exceedingly charming and a most graceful lady. I was but a small person, but she didn't treat me as such. She is the ultimate example of all a woman can achieve without losing her "self. Rochester has lost a most gracious and revered citizen. My sympathy to her family. Teagan Schaefer, Rochester, MN
Dear Anne - so many hugs to you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss but am certain you are finding peace with countless memories of love and laugher, commitment and conviction, happiness and helping, family and friends.
I truly do not remember a time when your mom was not part of the fabric of my life. She has always been such an inspiration to countless girls, women...and men. We (as individuals) and our society are better and stronger because of her. I remember marveling at how beautiful her gardens were but that they truly paled in comparison to her beauty.
Peace and love to you and your family.Kelly Morse Nowicki, Oronoco, MN
Words can't fully embrace the depth of my respect for Nancy and her truly courageous and hope-inspiring spirit for all. May we continue to translate her ideals for education, diplomacy, service above self, scouting and gardening through our civic leaders, educators and trailblazers. Peace, respect, and caring wishes to you and all. Ashok Patel, M.D., Mayo Clinic
Nancy's longtime friend and political colleague, Chuck Slocum, a former “National Mentor of the Year,” offers these reflections on the importance of mentoring:
“Nancy Brataas was a legend in my political circle when I first worked as a fieldman for the Minnesota GOP in 1969 as she was leaving as State Chairwoman; six years later I was elected State Chair (age 28) and we soon renamed the party “Independent-Republican” to emphasize the kind of pragmatic outreach and professionalism that your mother exemplified. We also were trying to overcome political fallout from the Watergate scandal that was especially turning off the public.
I noted in your MinnPost piece http://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2014/04/she-died-sen-nancy-brataas-posed-final-question-unconventional that one of the several legacies left by your mom was the need for all of us to mentor. I could not agree more. Your Mom was a unique professional: strong, focused and results oriented. As a former “National Mentor of the Year,” I will welcome an opportunity to support a “positive civic contributions” scholarship, or general community-building kind of mentoring scholarship in her name. Just a great idea. Can we get it going?"
A former colleague of Nancy's passes along this In-The-Trenches tale of statecraft and workers' comp from the mid-1980s:
"I had the honor and privilege as a twenty-something to work alongside Nancy in the mid-1980s. We spent many hours working on reforming state unemployment compensation law and even had the privilege of being invited to her home to assist her over a weekend on a number of documents. Obviously, this thing called the internet did not exist at the time, so it was good, old-fashioned manual data entry that got the job done. The lessons I learned alongside her in those days have carried me along throughout my career.
At the time, I was collecting reams of official data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Minnesota Department of Economic Security. One of the comparisons created in this process was a data table that took the average weekly unemployment benefit, multiplied by the average duration in weeks of unemployment. This calculation incensed the DFLers, so I could see your mother was putting extra thought into what to call this statistic. With a tilt of her head up, those piercing eyes peering through her glasses, and a small, wicked smile shared between her, myself and Margaret in that narrow office space in her basement, the pronouncement was made: this would be known as “The Misery Index.” I have never forgotten that.”
As people reflect on the leadership legacy of Nancy Brataas, a topic that comes up frequently is her mastery of method for campaign organization.
Read more about this aspect of Nancy in Lori Sturdevant's Strib piece: