MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The co-owner of a nationally renowned children’s bookstore has died.

Tom Braun died last week — four years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Braun and his former wife co-owned the Wild Rumpus bookstore in Linden Hills, which was known for being a magical place, full of books, toys and live animals.

From dining, to shopping and simply savoring life, Linden Hills was the neighborhood Tom Braun helped flourish.

“Tom was known as the Mayor of Linden Hills, but also saw the vision of what Linden Hills could be.”

Tom’s friend and fellow business owner, Dan Nepp, reflects on the man he deeply respected, the man he will never see again.

“Tom always had a funny word, a kind word; he was always a very gentle soul,” added Nepp. “You’d see him on the street and you could always have an interesting conversation with him. It wouldn’t be about the weather, it wouldn’t be about this; he’d come up and make a comment, he’d tease you a little bit. It would always be some little thing.”

Dan’s architectural firm is right next door to the perfectly peculiar and magical bookstore known as the WILD Rumpus, named Best in Minnesota in 2012.

Tom, his ex-wife and a friend owned the store together.

Tom lost his life to Alzheimer’s but his legacy will live on in the most whimsical of ways.

Tom will be remembered at a memorial service at the Walker Art Center in late November. In lieu of flowers, he asked that people donate to climate change research or alzheimer’s research.

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