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James Donald Brannian


1918 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
James Donald Brannian Obituary
James Donald Brannian

James was born on January 28, 1918 in Bellingham, Washington to James Benjamin and Elizabeth Smith Brannian. He graduated from Whatcom High School in 1936 and put himself through college by working with his father driving piles on fish traps in Alaska. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington in 1942. During World War II, he served as an officer in the Marine Corps, which sent him to radar school at MIT and Harvard and then made him a supply officer. He always cherished his time in Boston and it was the source of many stories later in life. He was stationed on Peleliu Island when the war ended, and, after briefly being reactivated during the Korean War, he retired from the Reserves with the rank of Major. Following WWII, he took a position with Pacific Telephone and Telegraph in Tacoma Washington. His military, Alaska, and radar experience led to him being transferred to the Western Electric Co in New York where he was attached to the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line project. He spent several years during the 1950s living in Manhattan and traveling to the northernmost reaches of Canada and Alaska choosing the sites where the radars that made up the DEW line would be erected. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in New York, taking in all the city had to offer, indulging his love of Opera, and eventually meeting a slim Greek girl from Brooklyn whom he would marry on August 23, 1956, and with whom he would embark on a journey of love that would last 55 years. They moved west in 1958, settling first in Spokane, then in Vancouver (WA), Newport Hills, and, finally, Mercer Island in 1972. Along the way, they had two sons, James, born in 1960, and Mark, born in 1962. In each new place they were heavily involved with the Greek church and community and formed lasting friendships. James served as treasurer of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Seattle for eight years. He retired in the mid-1980's after a long career in management with Pacific Northwest Bell. In the latter years of his life, he cared for his beloved wife in their home during her decade-long struggle with Alzheimer's disease until she passed in his arms on March 7, 2011 - 3 years to the day before he passed. James was a man of second chances, providing opportunities through his guidance and resources to many of those closest to him; an independent man with an indomitable will, but one who also knew his own limits and when to ask for help; and, most of all, a man who lived his life with commitment, compassion, tolerance, and a quiet, steady love for those around him. We are so grateful to have had him as our father and for the many years we shared together. We'll miss his dry wit and martinis, our many dinners, nights out at the opera, his easy, reassuring presence, his warmth, and his sage advice. So many lessons learned through his example. We're thankful and honored to have been able to walk the path of life with him. Rest easy pop-o! You were the best! You'll always be in our hearts. Blessings and love on this next part of your journey. James is preceded in death by his wife, Kasiana, his brother, Richard, and his sister, Patricia. He is survived by his son James of Seattle and his son Mark and daughter-in-law Deanna of Mercer Island. Our family wishes to express our profound thanks to his caregiver, Helena Fakatou Tupou. Her tender, loving care for both our father and our mother before him touched our hearts, and her wide experience and wise counsel over her many years with our family was a boon for which no words can suffice.

Viewing, Friday, March 14 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. followed by a Trisagion service at 6:00 p.m., all at Bonney-Watson Funeral Home, 1732 Broadway, Seattle. Funeral Service, 11:00 a.m., Saturday,

March 15 at Greek Orthodox Church

of the Assumption, 1804 13th Avenue, Seattle. Burial, Evergreen Washelli Cemetery. Flowers are welcome, however, if preferred, donations may be made to the or to Planned Parenthood. Up the Irish!
Published in The Seattle Times from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2014
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