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EARLE RAYMOND BRAUNHARDT Earle Raymond "Brownie" Braunhardt passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 27,
2013. Earle left this life holding the hands of his beloved wife, Doris (Dottie) and daughter Judi, surrounded by his sons, Ron and Rick. Earle was born on March 5, 1925 in Marblehead, MA to George W. and Olive M. Braunhardt. He and his three brothers grew up in Marblehead, where he played football, loved to swim and snow ski, and play in the school band. His love and expertise in music was visible early in his life, and after considerable "discussions" with his parents, he was finally allowed to earn some money during the hard economic years of the '40s by playing in the "pit- band" at local clubs at the young age of 15. He continued to play in numerous dance bands throughout his life. Earle wanted to serve his country and, like so many other young men of that era, took advantage of the early graduation program that was enacted during the war years. Earle served aboard the USS Vincennes "flak" cruiser in the Pacific campaign as an anti-aircraft gunner and as a member of Admiral "Bull" Halsey's Navy Band (#66). He was particularly proud of the opportunity to play trombone with the Johnny Mercer band alongside the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey bands as part of their USO troop morale tours. After the war, Earle was stationed in Pensacola, FL where he met his future wife, Doris (Dottie) Beck, a records clerk at Eglin Field (now Eglin AFB). Earle and Dottie married on April 10, 1947. After their wedding, Earle was posted to London, England. Having served his country in war, he decided to pursue his passion for music by becoming a band director and left the Navy to attend Miami of Ohio University. Upon graduation, Earle taught in Rockford, OH from '52 to '54, and in Bunnell, FL from '54 to '56. He then taught in Sanford, NC from '56 to '79 at Sanford Central High School. His first band consisted of 56 members, and "his kids" eventually grew to 200 band members and included all three of his children during his tenure. Not satisfied with the music available to school bands, Earle arranged and wrote much of the music and innovated the various formations and marches that over the years allowed "his kids" to win countless awards. The Sanford Central High School band represented the city at numerous events and parades, large and small, throughout NC and the nation, as well as the Bahamas. After retiring from teaching, Earle worked for Burrage Music Company and McFadyen Music, directed the church choir, and assisted other NC band directors. After retiring yet again, Earle and Dottie moved to Fort Pierce, FL, but the love of music and teaching drew him back where he played in various dance bands, taught private lessons, directed brass ensembles, and assisted area band directors throughout Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. Earle also taught music at Indian River Community College, where he formed the Trombone Choir, which performed from 1994-1996. He finally retired for good in 2006 to spend time with "his lady." Earle is survived by his wife and best friend of 66 years, Doris (Dottie) Braunhardt. Earle and Dottie have three children: Col. Ronald "RB" Braunhardt (USAF Retired) and wife Sharla of Smithfield, VA, Richard (Rick) Braunhardt of Fort Pierce, FL, and Judith (Judi) Traynor and husband Joel, also of Fort Pierce, FL. Earle is also survived by his brother, Dr. Charles Braunhardt and wife Carol of Cary, NC, their son, Scott Braunhardt of Austin, TX, two grandchildren, Robyn Westfall of AZ and Stephanie Brady of TX, and two great grandchildren, Jarod and Kaylyn Westfall, also of AZ. Earle requested that his passing be marked by a "joyous remembrance with no sadness whatsoever." In his own words: "I have had a great and fulfilling life. When one has had a life so full of great happenings, there is absolutely no place for sadness. I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by valued friends, colleagues and talented students throughout my career plus the full support of my family. One cannot ask for anything more in his or her lifetime." A memorial service will be held at Haisley Funeral Home in Fort Pierce, FL on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm. An inurnment service will immediately follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Memorial contributions may be made to Treasure Coast Hospice in Fort Pierce, FL. Arrangements are under the direction of Haisley Funeral & Cremation Service. Online condolences may be expressed at

Published in the TC Palm on Sept. 1, 2013
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