Gerald Allen Brazee
July 16, 1939 – November 19, 2021
Gerald Allen Brazee JULY 16, 1939 – NOVEMBER 19, 2021
Gerald Allen Brazee, age 82, of Holt, Michigan passed away at home on Friday, November 19, 2021. Gerald was born July 16, 1939.
Jerry, Daddio, Buddy, Bompa, Pops, Grandpa Z, Coach Brazee, George... was born in his parents’ home on Lenore St. in Lansing Michigan. He graduated from Sexton High School in 1958, immediately enlisted in the Navy with a buddy and was sent to aircraft electronics training. He was assigned to the USS Coral Sea Aircraft carrier where he was until 1962. He installed and repaired radio and navigation systems in A1 Skyraiders. The Coral Sea made the Far East Tour during his last 2 years in the Navy. During this time, he was trained to install and activate nuclear devices that were carried by the Skyraiders just off the coast of Vietnam towards the end of his tour. He loved to share stories of his Navy days and was very proud of service.
After leaving the Navy he raced back to Lansing in his Chevy Corvair. He met his wife of 57 years Nancy Gilmore in 1964 and they raised 5 children and fostered many more.
You should have seen Jerry with his family. He was gentle and caring, soft spoken, slow to anger and quick to chuckle. His bright eyes often beamed with merriment when he told stories. He was curious and observant. He loved watching people’s lives unfold. Maybe his watchfulness came from his many years of coaching. Furthermore, he communed wholeheartedly in people’s stories, a willing participant to the collective.
Still more, Jerry was steadfast, and not easily daunted by life’s pace; he ran the distance. He was nurturing and supportive, the figure head of the family. He was a buoyant man who navigated so many people through life’s multitude of waves. He loved to go. And, maybe the animated passage is where he felt most like himself rushing through space and time with all of reality waking around him. For Jerry time spent behind the wheel of a van driving his family to Chicago, leaning off the gunwale of the South Manitou ferry with lake Michigan’s wind ripping across his face, annually biking his age in miles, or maintaining a pace through a marathon on his own long distancing feet, it was where he fortified his confidence and regained his understanding of how to be beneficial to the ones he loved. He was a gentle hero, and he always carried the ball as far as he could.
To say he was a Spartan wouldn’t be enough. He took fandom to a new level. He rarely was seen without green and white on and almost never missed a MSU women’s home basketball game. Except for his Navy days, he spent his life with his family in Lansing where he was a teacher and coach. He taught wood shop at Walter French Junior High School, Dwight Rich Junior High School and Everett High School. During his years in the Lansing schools, he coached JV football, tennis, cross country and track, to great local renown.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Eugene and Dorothy Brazee. Surviving family includes His wife of 57 years Nancy Brazee (Gilmore), Children: Steve and Lisa Heinritz (Brazee), Steven and Amy Baibak (Brazee), Christopher Brazee and Beverly Turner, Gregory Brazee, Khatrina Brazee, Whitney Codling III. Grandchildren: Samantha Heinritz, Sarah Heinritz, Stephanie Heinritz, Christopher Brazee Jr, Ta’Kisha Brazee, Krista Brazee, Kamisha Williams, Kanei Dean and Maya Baibak. Great-grandchildren: Laylah Brazee, Aaliyah Brazee, Christopher Brazee III., Caiden Diehm, Landon Diehm, Colton Diehm, Brian Foy III, Da’Veyah Jackson, Marquis Davis Jr., Ma’Layah Davis, Michael Downey, Aubree Downey, Zoey Bonilla. Brothers: Fred and Larry Brazee. Sister-in-law Grace Haley and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral service for Gerald will be held Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 12:00 PM at Riverview Church, 1115 S. Washington Ave., Lansing, MI 48910, followed by a visitation from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.tiffanyfuneralhome.com for the Brazee family.
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Gerald Allen Brazee
November 29, 2021
Coach Brazee will always hold a special place in my heart. I send my deepest condolences to the family!
November 23, 2021
I will always remember Coach Brazee's gentle nature. To the family I would like to express my deepest condolences.
Geanine (Gigi) Bent