George Edward Brazil
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George Edward (JoJo) Brazil. On April 21, 1933, Frank Hassett Sr. and Mai Marlar Brazil gave birth to a little boy and they named me George Edward. My older brother, Frank Hassett Brazil, Jr., had given me my nickname before I was born - JoJo. This is the name that stuck with me and I have been called JoJo for 81 years come next month.
Both my parents and elder brother preceded me in death. My three sisters, Evelyn Brazil Setters, Dorothy Brazil Boring, and Betty Lou Brazil, have also gone on to be with our Lord. Even though the Depression had driven my family to Nankin Township in Michigan, where I was born, we moved back to Nashville when I was around 3 years old and that is where I lived until Mary, my wife, children and I moved to Brentwood in 1971. However, I'm getting ahead of myself.
I attended grade school at Woodmont Elementary and then my life really began when I started the ninth grade at North High School. That's where I had some of the most wonderful, dedicated teachers. And that's where my life in acting and the love of the theatre began. It would be impossible for me to write down all of the plays in which I have worked backstage, painted scenery, and played roles.
I was fortunate enough to win best actor at Circle Theatre for my role in "Street Car Named Desire" and "California Suite." I also won best actor at David Lipscomb for "All My Sons" and "Glass Menagerie." "No Time For Sargento" was my delight to play at Theatre Nashville. I was invited by a talent scout to go to Hollywood and try out for Andy Griffith's role in the movie by the same name. However, I had a wife and two children by that point and my life was set on its course. All of these events took place between 1952 and 1973.
Naturally, for me, my life had been set on its course when I was baptized into Christ at 12th Ave. Church of Christ and became a Christian when I was seventeen years old.
David Lipscomb was the college of my choice, so I entered there in the fall of 1951, majoring in Speech. That's where I met my future wife, Mary Cornelia Sparkman. As would be appropriate, we met while working on a play - she, too, is an actress (I think it's now correct to call us all actors). Mary and I married July 9, 1957.
Since I had received my Master's Degree in one hand and my induction papers in the other, I had finished a year in the Army, stationed at Fort Knox, KY. Therefore, we moved to Elizabethtown, KY where I had found a darling little apartment just perfect for newlyweds.
So much happened that first year of marriage, but the most important event was the birth of our first child, Nicki Jo. Nicki was born on June 30, 1958. We had planned for our first child to be born before I was mustered out of the Army, so she arrived in Elizabeth Town, KY and the cost of her birth was only $25.00, where as if she'd been born on base, we would have been totally free of any charge. I am rambling on terribly and most of you know the rest of the story anyway. Mentioning the $25.00 makes me realize that this obit is probably going to cost more than Mary and the children can scrape together, so I will try to wind it up.
These are the other children born to us and each one was as joyfully received as the first: Amy Lea, September 14, 1959; Frank Edward, January 27, 1961; Becky Lynn, March 3, 1964; Michael David, January 13, 1969; Mary Elizabeth, November 7, 1974. All of these special children survive me, along with their spouses: Milt Wickles, David Landers, Gina Formosa Brazil, David Jones, and Lori Moser Brazil. All eleven survive along with our outstanding grandchildren: Luke Landers, Clint Wickles, Ross Brazil, Hannah Landers, Helen Brazil, Hailey Wickles, Paul Brazil, Rebekah Jones, Sam Landers, Nikolaus Jones, Katie Brazil, Jakob Luberda, Dane Brazil, and Zakary Luberda, and our great-granddaughter, Mila Sophia Brazil.
I had many places of employment during those ensuing forty-four years, but my primary employment was Davidson County Board of Education, from which I retired in 2002 due to declining health. Since we were blessed with so many children, it was necessary for me to have a couple of part time jobs, with John F. Lawhon and Circuit City.
In 1962, Mary and I transferred our church membership to West End Church of Christ where we have worked and worshipped for 52 years.
The Celebration of my Life is on Friday, March 14th at West End Church of Christ at 2 p.m., with visitation preceeding the service at 12 Noon at the church. Immediately after the services, entombment will be at the older mortuary on the south side of Woodlawn Cemetery.
The family will also visit with friends from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 13th at Dignity Roesch-Patton Funeral Home on Church St. in Brentwood, TN. In lieu of flowers, I would like donations made to West End Church of Christ, Church of Christ Disaster Relief, Avalon Hospice, or DLU Performing Arts Dept. or any other
I've had a rich and full life on earth and I know it doesn't compare to the life I'm beginning now!
Published in The Tennessean on Mar. 13, 2014