Wakefield '60 Classmates: In Memoriam

William Fowler "Bill" Braddock
b: 2/24/1942     d: 8/18/2004

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Bill Braddock picture WILLIAM BRADDOCK, Rifle Club 3; Rifle Team 3.
The Huntsville Times, Huntsville, Alabama - August 19, 2004
William Fowler "Bill" Braddock, 62, of Decatur, Alabama, died Wednesday at his home following a short bout with pancreatic cancer.  Born in Meridian, Mississippi, on February 24, 1942, he earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree in computer science from the University of Alabama in Hurtsville.  Mr. Braddock retired last year after 30 years with Lockheed Martin in Huntsville as a systems engineer.  He had lived in Decatur for 33 years and previously worked with Northrop Grumman Corporation and Rockwell International Corporation.  He had a lifelong interest in anything that moved, especially planes, boats and trains.   Mr. Braddock was an airplane owner, pilot and builder.  He was active in the Civil Air Patrol, Commemorative Air Force (Tennessee Valley Squadron) and Experimental Aircraft Association.  He belonged to the local RV Builders Association, a group of local airplane building enthusiasts.  He avidly enjoyed boating and spending time on the lake and collecting antique lanterns.  His family was his most important focus.  However, he also had a quiet influence on others through his volunteer work in the community as a Boy Scout leader, Civil Air Patrol leader and church youth advisor.  He was an elder and deacon in St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, USA.  He was also a Bible study teacher and youth advisor.   He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Mary Kathryn Braddock of Decatur, one daughter, Christy Braddock Rainey and her husband. Matt Rainey, of Huntsville, Alabama; two sons, Michael William Braddock of Huntsville, and Navy Lt. John Scott Braddock and his wife, Katie Brown Braddock, of Hanford, California; two granddaughters, Anna Kathryn Rainey of Huntsville, and Grace Elizabeth Braddock of Hanford, and in-laws, Betty and retired Army Col. Arv Hickerson of McLean, Virginia.  He was preceded in death by his parents, retired Air Force Col. Heyward M. and Minnie S. Braddock of Arlington Virginia.   His family invites friends to join them at 3 p.m. Friday for a graveside service at Roselawn Cemetery. Afterward, they will receive visitors at 4 p.m. Friday at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, USA, 3310 Damille Road S.W.  A memorial celebration of his life service will be held at 5 p.m. Friday at the church with Dr. Randon H. Jackson of Pensacola, Florida, officiating, assisted by the Rev. Rachel E. Winter.  Speakers will include Bob Jaques of Hartselle, Mississippi, Debbie Ward of Pelham, Mississippi, Dr. Scott Sharp of Decatur, Mississippi, and Lt. Braddock of Hanford.  Pallbearers are Jim Boyd, Walt Brooks, Gene Canton, Tommy Gates, Bill Heim, Harold Moore, Robert Reynolds, Walt Twelkemeier and Paul Ward.  Honorary pallbearers are Dennis Altice. John Brandon, Lee Brown, Bill Eberle, Bill Jones, Hugh Looney, Sonny McMahan, Turner Matthews and Tom Meier.  The family requests that memorials be made to the Volunteer Center of Morgan County or St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. USA.  Roselawn Funeral Home is assisting the family.

The Huntsville Times, Huntsville, Alabama - August 22, 2004
William F. "Bill" Braddock loved to fly, loved boats and trains, was always on the go and still found time to care for his young granddaughter every Monday.  Braddock, 62, a 33-year resident of Decatur, died Wednesday after battling pancreatic cancer.  A systems engineer for Lockheed Martin for 30 years, Braddock's family recalled that he was fascinated by things that moved.  His daughter, Christy Braddock Rainey, said her parents believed that life was short and it should be enjoyed.   With a wide circle of friends and a range of interests, Braddock did just that, his daughter said.  He owned, built and happily flew airplanes.   Braddock was also active in a local experimental aircraft association, the Civil Air Patrol and an RV association, whose members were dedicated to building their own airplanes.  He was a member of the Commemorative Air Force, Tennessee Valley Squadron, which is dedicated to flying, maintaining and preserving the military aviation heritage from World War II.   "I just think of him with the wind in his hair, laughing, soaking up being in the air," his daughter said.  Braddock and his son-in-law, Matt Rainey. had been working on building a new kit plane, an RV-7, at the time of his illness.  Bill Braddock met his future wife. Mary Kathryn Braddock, on a blind date on February 29, a leap day, nearly 40 years ago, while they were in college in Virginia.  The couple had three children, Christy, Michael W. Braddock of Huntsville and U.S. Navy Lt. John Scott Braddock of Hanford, California.  During a memorial service held Friday, Christy Rainey said her father's devotion to his family was neatly summed up.  "They said, 'God was first with dad, then mom, then the kids, after that was work and hobbies and other things,' " she said. "There was nothing my father wouldn't do for his family."  Braddock retired last year at 61.  It didn't take him long to find another job he loved doing.  "When my daughter was born, he'd take care of her on Mondays so I could go to work," Christy Rainey said.  "He loved baby-sitting and was very sad when he couldn't do it anymore."  Bob Jaques, Braddock's friend for 15 years, met him when Braddock and his son, Scott, joined the Decatur Civil Air Patrol Squadron.  Jaques said Braddock's enjoyment of life and his enthusiasm inspired the people around him.  "He became qualified as the squadron cadet orientation pilot," Jaques said.  That consists of explaining to cadets how an airplane works and then giving them a 30-minute flight.  Many of them got their very first airplane ride with Braddock.  "And some of them went on to become pilots in the Air Force, Navy and Army," he said.  Scott Braddock is a Navy F-18 instructor.  Bill Braddock graduated with an aerospace engineering degree from Virginia Tech and later earned a master's degree in computer science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.   He came to Huntsville to work for Northrop Grumman and also worked with Rockwell International and later for Lockheed Martin for 30 years.  Braddock was a Boy Scout leader, an elder and deacon at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.   He was also a youth adviser and led youth Bible studies.   The reach of Braddock's life was on display during Friday's funeral.  There were 18 men who served as pallbearers or honorary pallbearers.  "Mom and dad moved in a lot of ditferent circles, and they have a lot of good, old friends," his daughter said. "They always found a way to enjoy their time, their weekends."

2011 Wakefield Class of 1960 and Wakefield Education Foundation (information@wakefieldalumni.org)