For Michael D. DePriest, M.D. and Barbara A. Braznell, becoming Lifetime members of the Western League for Excellence was a way to support the community and help push for progress at Missouri

Barbara Braznell and Michael DePriest


“The University is essential to making our community a great place to work and live,” the couple said. “We especially appreciate the music and arts departments at MWSU and all they bring to the community.”

The League was founded at Missouri Western in 2005, and Michael and Barbara are charter members.

Michael grew up in Bethany, Missouri, where his family farmed. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and attended medical school at the University of Missouri- Columbia. He trained in surgery at Washington University in St. Louis and at the medical center in Columbia, Missouri, and received his Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery training at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago.

Barbara is from St. Louis. She graduated from MU with a degree in psychology and then went to nursing school, graduating from Missouri Baptist Nursing School and St. Louis University in Nursing. Barbara worked as a nurse for five years before attending law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She worked for the Assistant Regional Counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services in Chicago for two years.

The DePreists moved to St. Joseph in 1987. Michael is in private practice in plastic surgery and hand surgery. Barbara practiced law in a variety of settings but spent the last 20 years or so practicing estate planning and elder law before retiring a few years ago.

They have three daughters and three grandsons.