Mr. Alvin Leonard Bragg Sr. was born in South Hill, Va., to Marvin Alvin Bragg and Horatia Hayes on March 3, 1945. At the age of 13, Alvin moved to Petersburg, Va., where he was nurtured by his loving aunt and uncle, Helen and James Howard. Shortly after moving to Petersburg, Alvin enrolled at Peabody High School, and it was there that he met the love of his life, Sadie Chavis Bragg.
During high school, Alvin was an active member of Gillfield Baptist Church and the NAACP. Among many other community activities, Alvin led student sit-ins as part of the effort to desegregate restaurants in Petersburg. Alvin was also an honors student and a standout member of the track team.
Alvin and Sadie were married in 1967. Alvin graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in political science in 1968. Upon Alvin's graduation, Alvin and Sadie moved to New York City. Alvin later earned a master of science degree in human resource management from the University of Utah.
Alvin dedicated most of his professional life to the delivery of social services in New York City. He started his career at the New York City Youth Board, where he helped oversee a program that provided services to students who had dropped out of high school. After a brief period as a stock broker, Alvin worker for over 14 years at the New York Urban League. For his first five years at the Urban League, Alvin helped direct a series of programs: an educational program for students who had dropped out to high school, a community service center for young adults on probation and a skills training and job placement program. From 1976 to 1986, Alvin over saw the Urban League's operations in Manhattan as the borough director.
After the Urban League, Alvin worked for several years for the New York City Human Resources Administration as a director at the city homeless shelters. After he retired, Alvin helped establish and co-owned an IHOP franchise in Harlem.
More than any of his professional accomplishments, Alvin loved spending time with his family and friends. Among other activities with family and friends, Alvin enjoyed playing cards and tennis, traveling, watching sports, dancing, and listening to music (especially James Brown). Above all else, Alvin enjoyed spending time with Sadie and Alvin Jr., and more recently with hs daughter-in-law, Jamila, and his grandchildren, Maya (8) and Mark (4).
Alvin is survived by his loving wife, Sadie; his son, Alvin Bragg Jr. and his daughter-in-law, Jamila Ponton Bragg (who Alvin Sr. affectionately referred to as his daughter); two grandchildren, Maya and Mark; mother, Horatia Hayes; eight siblings, Cordell Bragg-Weaver (Ricardo), Jacqueline Bragg Ruff, Howard Bragg (Sherry), Wanda Hayes, Yvette Jones-Thomas (Jerome), Dwayne Hayes, Darryl Hayes Sr. (Kyshia) and Danite Hayes-Easley (Ronnie); an aunt, Ruth Edwina "Dotties" Sapp; great-uncle, James Howard; brother-in-law, Lonnie Chavis Sr.; cousin, Joel Howard (Theresa); godson and nephew, Gregory Jefferson Sr. (Jana); nieces and nephews, Lisa Chavis Gregory (Algie), Monica Chavis Goode, Tiffany Weaver, Ronald Ruff Sr., Brandi Bragg, Aisha Edwards, Tazzley Hayes, Edwina Thomas, Jerome Thomas Jr., Timothy Thomas, DeAngelo Lewis, Dwayne Hayes II, Caitlyn Hayes, Darryl Hayes Jr., DeAnta Hayes, Dominique Hayes, Donaisha Hayes and Ronnie Easley; cousins-in-law, Mary Williams and Roland Christian Jr.; godchildren, Dara Jemmott and Alex Huntley; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Services for Mr. Alvin L. Bragg Sr. will be held 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 1021 Halifax St., Petersburg, Va.; the Rev. Lamont Hobbs, pastor, eulogist. The interment to follow at Dinwiddie Memorial Park.
Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Mr. Bragg at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following organizations: The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, http://harlembgc.org
; New York Urban League, http://www.naacpldf.org
; NAACP Legal Defense Fund, http://www.nyul.org
, in memory of Alvin L. Bragg Sr.
Condolences may be sent to the Bragg Family at 208 W. 139th St., New York, NY 10030-2109.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, Va., 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com