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George Sheldon Brayer

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George Sheldon Brayer Obituary
Brayer, George


Brighton: George Sheldon Brayer (1930-2013) passed away peacefully on 30 September surrounded by family members. He is survived by Elizabeth (Betsy) Brayer, his wife of 58 years, five children, Sarah Brayer (Masato Fujiwara) of Kyoto, David (Beatriz) Brayer of Miami, Dr. Anne Brayer of Rochester, Jennifer Brayer of Brooklyn, Caroline (Robert) Ebby of Wynnewood, PA and ten grandchildren: Oliver Davis, Harriett Davis, Nicholas Brayer, Olivia Brayer, Jordi Dalmau, Louisa Ebby, William Ebby, Eleanor Ebby, Nathan Bennette, and Gabriela Brayer, a brother, James D. Brayer, and many nieces and nephews. His parents were George Wackerman Brayer and Edith Sheldon Brayer of Brighton.

In the footsteps of his father and grandfather (who was a founding shareholder of the company), Shel was a director and national sales manager of The Hickey Freeman Co. Inc. of Rochester where he worked for more than 50 years. He headed the individual order department and covered a sales territory from Denver to Alaska prior to assuming national sales responsibilities. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1974. By sending home numerous postcards, he whetted the family's appetite for travel. He opened the company's first account with the Nordstrom chain of stores. He began a program of selling interview suits at the country's top business schools. He initiated a program to provide tailored clothing for the United States Ryder Cup golf team. Shel wrote the centennial history of the company entitled A Temple of Fine Tailoring: Hickey Freeman, 1899-1999.

Following his father's example, Shel graduated from Amherst College and lived to see seven more Brayers (including one son-in-law) choose "The Fairest College." He was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. As a loyal Lord Jeff, he helped organize innumerable class reunions and for five years served as president of the Amherst College Class of 1952.

Shel spent four years, 1952-1956, in the U. S. Navy during the Korean War as operations officer on a destroyer escort that operated from Key West to Havana to Gitmo and back. He anchored the ship's championship softball team and was a lifelong, diehard fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Rochester Red Wings.

A native of Brighton, Shel attended Indian Landing School and Monroe High School. He was a Son of Cory and senior counselor of "Shel's Nuthouse" cabin at the YMCA Camp Cory on Keuka Lake. A son and three grandchildren also attended Camp Cory. For many years Shel was a Brighton Little League coach. All of his children graduated from Brighton High School.

Shel was very active in community affairs. He was president of the Rochester Chapter of the American Heart Association; chairman and a long-time board member of the Friendly Home; and headed the financial committee of St. Thomas More parish where he served as a lector for many years. He belonged to Toastmasters and the Gaggle, a writing club.

Shel was vice president, historian, and head of the Heritage Committee of the Genesee Valley Club. He also served as president of Historic Brighton.

Shel loved to travel. In the summer of 1970, he took his wife and five children on a trip via the Canadian Pacific railroad and Winnebago through the American and Canadian West. Another family trip was to Tibet in 1987. His family shares that love: he had a daughter living in Kyoto, a son who lived in Cairo and Hong Kong, and daughters and grandchildren who studied in London, Italy, Scotland and France.

There will be no prior calling hours. A funeral mass will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, November 23 at St. Thomas More Church. Those wishing may donate to the Historic Brighton Publication Fund, the Docent Program at the Memorial Art Gallery, St. Thomas More Church, or a . To share a memory of Shel or send a condolence to the family, visit



Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Oct. 6, 2013
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