Ann and Jim met 47 years ago in the Greenbrook area of Danville. What started as a friendship for many years led to a relationship in the mid 2000’s after they both became widowed. “The unfortunate circumstance of losing both of our spouses caused us to meet as friends once again. This time our friendship turned into a wonderful and comfortable, loving relationship that we are fortunate to have today. We were married in 2008 and now we have five children between us and six grandchildren, a true blended family,” says Ann.
Jim has three sons that he is extremely proud of. Barry, the oldest, is the owner of Fieldwork Brewing Co. based in Berkeley. He has 7 tasting rooms, one close by in San Ramon. He lives with his partner Kirsten, and they split their time between the Bay Area and their vineyard home in the Sierra Foothills. Brian, the second oldest, his wife, Shelly, and daughter, Bella, have recently moved to Nevada where they are building a new home. Brian has launched a new career with Deebee’s Organics as COO. Shelly is very artistic and creates beautiful jewelry. They lived in Blackhawk previously and were the very first family featured on the cover of Blackhawk Living Magazine six years ago. Bella is a talented vocalist and will be starting college in Utah this month. The youngest Braden is Brad. He is a PGA Golf Pro and has been extremely accomplished in teaching and marketing. He is in management with Golf Galaxy Company. Kate, his wife, is a good golfer also. They live in San Ramon with their puppy, Benny.
Ann’s son, Steve Goldt, lives in Alamo and works as a senior director for Salesforce. His wife, Cristina, is a general manager for Workday, Inc. They were the first to make Ann a grandma with their oldest son, Justin, who is a 1st Lt. in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton. His sister, Madi, is about to graduate in December from Sonoma State University pursuing early childhood education. Ann’s daughter, Lara, and her husband, Steve Dutto, live in Orinda where Lara pursues a successful career in architecture. Steve is president of his own company, Forza Telecom, in Walnut Creek. They have two sons: Nick, their oldest, just completed his second year of college and received an internship in Washington, DC. Tyler, a senior at Miramonte High School next year, is a great basketball player, who just earned his Eagle Scout badge. Genet, a charming 14-year-old-girl, loves sports and will start high school at Bishop O’Dowd in the fall. This completes her family.
Jim was born in Birmingham, AL. He graduated with a B.A. in business from Samford University in 1960. After college, he served in the Air National Guard and was activated during the Berlin Crisis in 1961. After service, he joined The H.J.Heinz Co. in Birmingham. and eventually landed in the Bay Area in 1973, settling in Danville. He left Heinz in1981 and took a position with Superior Coffee, a division of Sara Lee Corp. He retired in 1999 after a rewarding career in the food industry.
Ann was born in Cape Girardeau, MO, in the “boot heel” along the Mississippi. Early on she studied piano and music theory at Webster College in St. Louis and eventually pursued an interior design degree after raising her two children. She established her own business for 13 years with a very special friend and associate, Diane, in Danville. Ann retired in 1997.
The Braden family is completed by their fur baby, Abby. “We have the cutest little miniature Labradoodle, Abby, who wraps us right around her little finger. Jim has never been without a dog and at one time had three basset hounds. He was often seen in the neighborhood walking all three of them. This is my first dog and I’m in love of course,” says Ann.
In their 13 years of marriage, the couple has traveled extensively. They have visited Europe, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Canada, Mexico and love making special memories in each place. They have enjoyed cruising, both on the ocean and on the rivers. Nashville holds a special place in their hearts for country music, as do the country’s National Parks and visiting friends and family.
Most of all Ann and Jim say traveling makes them realize how much they love their home, “As we return from these exciting destinations and come through the gate at Blackhawk we feel that there is no better destination or any more beautiful place to call home. We feel like we live in a resort!”
Jim is an excellent chef and spoils Ann with food shopping and cooking most nights. They love sharing wine together. “Jim always told me he didn’t want me in his kitchen except to enjoy a glass of wine while he cooks. It doesn’t get much better than that, unless, of course, when we both take the night off and enjoy the wonderful food at the Lakeside and Falls Restaurants at the Blackhawk Country Club,” says Ann.
Golf has been a sport they have both enjoyed here in Blackhawk. Jim has been a golf member of Blackhawk Country Club since 1985 and was very active for many years. Ann was involved with Blackhawk Women’s Golf Association for many years as well, serving as Captain in 2013. However, they had the most fun playing foursomes on Sunday afternoons laughing with good friends. They have also enjoyed Bocce and Monday Night Football events at the club over the years.
Both Ann and Jim say they feel blessed to call Blackhawk home, “We live on Blackhawk Meadow Drive and it is such a great neighborhood. Our home was built in1985 where Jim carefully added his own favorite touches of southern charm, we always happily say it’s our forever home. We love our large yard featuring an abundance of yard art. We have wonderful neighbors and often get together for backyard parties. It is the best!”
By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010
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