Theodora “Teddy” Mary Braun Topp, 92, of Tumwater, Wash., formerly of Waldport, Ore., died July 24, 2012 in Tumwater.
She was born April 15, 1920 to John Baptiste Braun and Theodora Abigail Wright Braun in Kimball, S.D.
Teddy graduated from Staples High School in Staples, Minn. in 1935, at age 15. In 1936, she received an Elementary School Certificate and began her teaching career at Birch Hill School in Cass County, Minn. On April 11, 1941, she married Eugene Henry Topp in Belle Plaine, Minn. and became a dairy farmer’s wife and mother. She also lived in Bertha, Minn. from 1942-1954, Sweet Home, Ore. from 1954 to 1997, and Waldport from 1997 to 2009. She spent the last three years in Tumwater.
Teddy taught sixth grade at Liberty Elementary School from 1960 to 1980 in Sweet Home, where she established the first outdoor education program. She was named Oregon’s Environmental Teacher of the Year in 1977.
Teddy was a feisty, hardworking, bargain-seeking, musical lady who loved to tease. She was known for her colorful responses and banter. She loved camping, quilting, painting, mushrooming, hunting, fishing, reading, singing and playing the piano. All of her life, she sang in her church choir, and during the past years, she volunteered for local senior centers and food and clothing banks. For years, she was a campground host for the U.S. Forest Service and a volunteer at the Alsea Bridge Interpretive Center in Waldport.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene Topp; and son, Joseph Gregory Topp.
She is survived by daughters, Tedi Sacco of Ashland, Karline (Rick) Bird of Olympia, Wash. and Stephanie Claire (Chris Wickham) of Olympia; seven grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.
Services will be at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Tumwater United Methodist Church, 1401 Lake Park Dr. in Tumwater. Memorial donations may be made to the Thurston County Food Bank - Food for Kids, 220 Thurston Ave. NE, Olympia, WA 98501.
An online memorial book is available at www.FuneralAlternatives.org.
Funeral Alternatives of Washington is handling arrangements.
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