Stephen W. Braden, PhD

(October 3rd, 1951 - June 4th, 2017)

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     Stephen W. Braden, PhD, age 65, of Springfield, passed away Sunday morning, June 4, 2017 in Manor Care, Springfield.  He was born at Bruner, Missouri, October 3, 1951 to Roger and Betty (Abbott) Braden.  After graduating from Sparta High School in 1969, Steve began building fence, later was employed with the Missouri Department of Conservation and Kraft Foods.  In his mid 30’s, Steve decided to resume his education and discovered his mission in life.  In 1991 Steve received his Bachelor of Science Degree from MSU, followed by his Masters of Arts degree in 1993 and in 2000 Steve achieved the title of Doctor of Philosophy from Louisiana State University.  He spent 22 years as a professor and administrator at Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University, both institutions are in the Atlanta, Georgia area.  Although born with severely limited eye sight, Steve lived a full, rich and productive life. Stephen is survived by his daughter Bridget Close and husband Rob; his brother J.R. Braden and wife Betty; nieces Kristi Schroeder and husband Randy, Katie Payne and Brian Connery and nephew Kyle Braden and wife Jody.  He was preceded in death by his parents. The family expresses special thanks to med bridge staff at Manor Care and Integrity Hospice. Visitation will be held from 6:00 to7:00 P.M., Wednesday, June 7, 2017 followed by a Celebration of Life Memorial Service at 7 P.M. in Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark. Online condolences may be shared at   

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Over the past 20 years we have steadily grown to become one of the leading funeral service providers in the area. In 1998 we became the newest, largest and most modern funeral home in Christian County. We take great pride in being home owned, family operated and honored to serve our community.

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