NEW KENT - James Richard "Jim" Brabrand, 71, died unexpectedly Sunday, April 17, 2011, due to complications after surgery.
Jim's loss leaves a grievous and cavernous hole in the Brabrand family. His love for his sons and his wife was never ending. He had an unbounded zest for life and its adventures. His unique charm and charisma endeared him to all he met. Jim's life exemplified the Rotary credo "Service above Self". He found great joy in music, especially bluegrass and barbershop. He played many instruments and loved to sing harmony. He tackled all challenges with tenacity.
Jim was born Feb. 20, 1940, in James City County near Jamestown, to the late Charles and Anita Brabrand. After graduating from West Point High School in 1958, he attended Lee McRae College, Banner Elk, N.C., and completed his education at Virginia Tech's School of Engineering with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering.
He began his career at Newport News Shipyard in the Industrial Engineering Department. After a short stay, he went to NASA at Langley Research Center until 1968. He continued his career at General Cable, Buena Vista, Va., and Lees Carpets, Glasgow, Va., until 1971, when he returned to Newport News to work at the Naval Mine Warfare Engineering Activity until 1995, when the Activity moved to Panama City, Fla. After taking early retirement, he attended NAWCC School of Horology near Lancaster, Pa., to learn to repair and service clocks.
Other activities over the years included serving as president of the Village Green Association, Palmer Elementary PTA, and Hines Middle School PTA, and as treasurer of the Newport News Council of PTA's. After moving to New Kent County, he held several positions of leadership in the local Rotary.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Agnes; his sons and their wives, Scott and Debbie Brabrand of Fairfax, and Doug and Sarah Brabrand of Richmond; and two grandsons, Bennett and William (sons of Scott and Debbie). In addition, he leaves behind two brothers and their wives, Andrew and Betty Brabrand of Montpelier, and Charles and Judy Brabrand of Gloucester. He also leaves his uncle, John and his wife, Cary Brabrand of West Point, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, April 22, at Vincent Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 417 11th Street, West Point, VA 23181. The funeral service will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, at the funeral home with the Rev. Nancy Summerline officiating. A private interment will be held later.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Brett-Reed Memorial Presbyterian Church, 29680 King William Rd., West Point, VA 23181; First United Methodist Church, 10246 Warwick Blvd., Newport News VA 23601; or any charity of your choosing.
Tributes may be posted at www.vincentfh.com View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.