Cover photo for Anne Bratton (Fairbanks) Bohlke's Obituary
Anne Bratton (Fairbanks) Bohlke Profile Photo
1944 Anne 2022

Anne Bratton (Fairbanks) Bohlke

May 10, 1944 — September 10, 2022

Anne Bratton (Fairbanks) Bohlke died September 10th at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital due

to complications after suffering a stroke.

Anne Capehart Bratton was born May 10th, 1944, in Rockville Center, New York, to Jean

Clarahan Bratton and Francis Howard Bratton.

She graduated from high school in Northfield, Minnesota, and earned a bachelor’s degree in

English from Carleton College in Minnesota in 1966. She earned her master’s degree in teaching,

majoring in English at Brown University in Rhode Island in 1969. Even before graduation, she

taught high school English and continued to do so—in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New

York, State, and eventually at Hastings High School in Hastings, Nebraska. Her particular joy in

teaching high school was opening up the world of reading to students who never before believed

they could learn to read.

Anne married Loren Fairbanks, Jr. in 1967. They lived in New York state and had two daughters

there, Elizabeth Anne and Catherine Anne. They moved to Hastings in 1980, divorced in 1984 .

Anne began teaching at Hastings College in 1983, serving as an English professor until she

became Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty in her final six

years of service. While teaching full time, Anne earned her master’s degree (1988) as well as her

PhD (1997) in English from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. During her Hastings College

career, Anne was the recipient of the Distinguished Senior Faculty Award (2004) and the

Vondrak Outstanding Advisor Award (2006), among many other honors. Anne loved her life as

an English professor. As she often remarked, “Imagine—we’re actually paid to read good books

and talk about them!” She retired from Hastings College in 2012. A week after her massive

stroke earlier this spring, Anne was inducted into the college’s prestigious Pro Rege Society,

participating from her hospital room virtually in the celebration.

Anne’s professional affiliations included the American Association of University Professors,

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Women Educators, the Modern Language

Association, and Sigma Tau Delta, the honorary society for English majors. She also belonged to

numerous area book clubs, including the George Eliot Book Club and the American Literature

Book Club, and loved to discuss and spread the delights of literature. She was active in the

Carleton College Alumni Council and its reunion activities, served on the YWCA Board of

Directors in Hastings, and was a long-time member of Chapter DA, P.E.O, for which she served

in all the offices over the years. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Hastings,

serving on various committees since joining when she moved to Hastings.

Anne’s greatest happiness in later years was being courted by and then married to Jon Halsey

Bohlke in November of 2015. Although Jon died unexpectedly only a few months into their

marriage, this relationship brought them both great joy. All her life, Anne loved to travel and

enjoy her family and friends. She loved sports and was as pleased to watch her grandsons play

sports in Des Moines as she was visiting a friend on sabbatical in the south of France. Anne also

loved the arts and traveled to every art residency in which her daughter Cathy participated,

including one in Iceland. In addition to enriching the minds of visual artists with her literary

knowledge, she delighted her friends with her sense of humor and a combination of impeccably

lady-like behavior with a sarcastic mind that revealed her strongly-held convictions only when

she wanted them to be seen.

Left to cherish Anne’s legacy are her daughters, Liz Creech of Hastings and Cathy Fairbanks

(David Zuttermeister) of Los Angeles, grandsons Christian Creech (fiancée Jaden Kully) of

Omaha and Connor Creech of Greeley, Colorado, sister Chris Bratton (John Barnard) of

Brooklyn, New York, brother Dan Bratton (Karen Seashore) of Boulder, Colorado, sister-in-law

Julie Bohlke of Hastings, stepson Jon Bohlke and family of Seattle, Washington, stepson Jason

Bohlke and family of Hastings, and step-daughter-in-law Stacey Bohlke and family of Hastings.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, September 17, at 3 p.m. First Presbyterian Church of

Hastings with the Reverend Greg Allen-Pickett officiating. Memorials may be given to the

YWCA, Hastings Public Library, or the Ardyce Bohlke Scholarship Fund through Hastings

Public Schools Foundation.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Anne Bratton (Fairbanks) Bohlke, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Saturday, September 17, 2022

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