John Calhoun Brassell, age 97, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, at Wellington Place of Fort Walton Beach, after a lengthy illness.
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John was born on Nov. 11, 1915, to Lenox Hamilton and Winnie Elizabeth Stevens Brassell in Andalusia, Ala. He married Stephanie Wekluk on Aug. 31, 1953, in Mobile, Ala., and they moved permanently to Fort Walton Beach in 1965.
John was a devoted Christian and a member of Cinco Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School for many years.
Recently recognized at the Omega Lodge No. 380, F. & A. M. for his 60 years as a Master Mason, John was also a 32°Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner.
During World War II, John worked in the Balboa Shipyard in the Panama Canal Zone. In 1946, he graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.A. degree in History. He completed his M.A. degree at Alabama in 1947. He was a 30-year civil service veteran, serving as a historian at Wright-Patterson, Brookley and Eglin Air Force Bases, finishing his career at Hurlburt Field.
After retirement, John was an avid runner who trained his way to become a distance runner. He also reignited his musical passion from college, playing bass trombone in the Okaloosa Symphony, the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, the Christian Symphonic Band, the White Sands Society Dance Band and anyone else in need of a trombone player with a smile.
He was a passionate fan of Alabama Crimson Tide athletics, often referring to himself as "Alabama's oldest freshman."
A faithful man who abounded with blessings, John was a loving husband, devoted father and doting grandfather. He made friends easily and leaves many behind. In this life, he will be greatly missed, but being the oldest of his group left on this earth, has been welcomed by a multitude of relatives and friends in the eternal life promised to him by our Lord and Savior.
John is preceded in death by his loving wife, Stephanie. He is survived by his children, John, Winnie, Tom and Lenox; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation for the love and care given to John by the staff of Wellington Place, Dr. Ming Chang and the staff at Emerald Coast Cancer Center, Dr. Basil Fossum and staff, and to Emerald Coast Hospice.
A time of visitation will be held on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 1 p.m., at Cinco Baptist Church in Fort Walton Beach with funeral services beginning at 2 p.m. Burial will immediately follow at Beal Memorial Cemetery with a graveside Masonic Service.
Arrangements are entrusted to Davis Watkins Funeral Home of Fort Walton Beach. To share memories, express condolences and sign the guestbook, please visit www.daviswatkins.com.
Davis Watkins Funeral Home
1326 Lewis Turner Boulevard Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Sept. 25, 2013