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1912 - 2011

Colonel Frank Maryan "Brandy" Brandstetter (U.S. Army Ret.) died in the Hospital Megallanes in Acapulco, Mexico on August 21, 2011 at age 99.

He was born into Austrian-Hungarian nobility on March 26, 1912, and immigrated to the United States as a penniless teenager. Volunteering for World War II service with the U.S. Army, his background, knowledge of customs, traditions and fluency with Hungarian, Romanian, Austrian, Czech and German languages made him a perfect choice for an intelligence career. After graduating from the U.S. Army Intelligence School, he was trained by British military intelligence before he parachuted with the 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment on D-Day and led his IPW (Interrogation of Prisoners of War) team into World War II. He served as General Matthew B. Ridgway's trusted aide with the XVIII Airborne Corps until the end of the war, then, with General Ridgway in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, and finally with the original, five-nation United Nations Organization. His awards include the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.

Brandy continued for 40 years in uniform as a U.S. Army Reservist frequently providing assistance to the Office of the Army Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, and the CIA. Subsequently, Brandstetter unofficially provided reconnaissance services to the United States, primarily at his own expense, to China, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Yugoslavia, and many other hot spots at times when security threats were emerging.

As a civilian, Brandy developed real estate and excelled as a hotelier. He was the founder and operator of the Las Brisas Resort in Acapulco, a favorite destination during Acapulco's heyday. He received many awards for his active service in building community and bringing people out of poverty. This work led him to projects that educated and employed many and launched productive careers that otherwise never would have been. After learning of Brandy's influence that helped thwart a rebellion in 1981, King Juan Carlos of Spain sent a small contingent to Acapulco in 2003 to express thanks by giving Brandy an honorary membership in the Corporation Euro Americana De Securidad. His service to the world was surpassed by the quality and depth of his loyalty and his friendship.

Colonel Brandstetter resided in the United States, Jamaica, Cuba, and finally in Mexico where he made his home on the hillside above Acapulco Bay and below the tall landmark cross and Catholic Chapel of Peace, both of which he was instrumental in building. His remains were cremated and rest in a crypt beneath that chapel. Memorial services will be held on November 11, 2011 at 11 am in Arlington National Cemetery at the grave of General Matthew B. Ridgway.

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Published in New York Times from Sep. 14 to Sep. 15, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
March 8, 2020
brandy and i first net at a las brisas owers association meeting. he was on the board of directers,at the end of the meeting i approached brandy and introduced myself. as we were walking out of the room, he invited me to have lunch with him at casa tranquilidad. the lunch lasted 2 hours and the relationship lasted more than 9 years. he not only became a best friend but a trusted mentor, with a wealth of first hand life experiences to share. as the years went by our friendship grew stronger and we always looked forward to our next visit. i was honored to be invited to his 85th birthday party given by a close friend of his in texas. a memory of brandy that always brings a smile to my face, everytime i would fly into acapulco and i didn't call him the moment i arrived at my house, he would call me, within minutes and give me hell for not calling him. how he knew within minutes, of my arrival was always a mystery to me. brandy my friend, you may be gone but not a day goes by that you're not in my thoughts. where ever you are, save me a spot, i miss our talks. r i p my friend.
jonathan piser
August 27, 2018
An american patriot, a teacher and a friend. It was an honor to met and shared knowledge and experiences with a legend of our time.
October 26, 2017
Never forgotten.
August 23, 2012
Acapulco, December 2004
Mr Brandstetter "Brandied" me in December 2004 when he received us at his home in Acapulco. The brief day we spent was enough to have me talking about him ever since, not once without some tears of admiration.
Carlo Aagten
December 21, 2011
I was privileged to work for Mr. Brandstetter both at Las Brisas Hilton and also at Acapulco Hilton back in the late 1950's and early 1960's. He was a kind and generous man and I was honored to know him and work for him. I will keep him in my prayers, he was a wonderful man!
Victor Manuel Pedraza
November 6, 2011
I also was Las Brisas General Manager from 1994 to 1997; I am sending my condolences to his family.
Francisco Jose Garcia. Santander. Spain
francisco garcia
October 28, 2011
To our beloved friend Brandy our condolences from Athens Greece the Stylianopoulos family
September 21, 2011
As a reservist, Brandy came to Washington, DC each year for two weeks of active duty training with the Office of the Army Chief of Staff for Intelligence. As a new 1st Lt in MI, I was fortunate to be sent to Acapulco in August 1962 to meet him and discuss ongoing operations. He was a gracious host and the several days I spent with him in 1962 were one of the highlights of my military intelligence career.

Bob Gowin (Springfield, VA)
September 20, 2011
Brandy ... Thank you for the lovely time we shared!
Adriana Villarreal
September 15, 2011
I only wish I had known this wonderful
Anne Shannon
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