William Wright Bragg

December 22nd, 1927January 1st, 2018

As the New Year rang-in on this beautiful brisk morning, Bill woke with bright eyes and a gentle soft smile.  It was a good morning and as he ate his breakfast with his quiet inner thoughts he knew this was the day he would finally get out of his bed, forever.  As he laid resting, his heart filled with wondrous memories of his 90 years.  With the warmth of the sun shining through his window he smiled as he saw Mom & Michael waiting for him to begin his new journey and as he closed his eyes he was at peace and happy again.

Bill was born in Paragould AK to William & Irene (Giles) Bragg.  He grew up in Carbondale IL.  At the age of 17 joining the Navy he served our country from September 18, 1945 to October 21, 1948.  He was on the ship LST-U30 as a 3rd class petty officer, he was a Motor Machinist Mate working of the ships Diesel engines.  He received the Victory Medal World War II, American Theatre Medal & Asiatie Pacific Theatre Medal.  In those 3-1/2 years he was in China for 18 months visiting Hong Kong, Tsing Tau, Shanghai, Korea, Guam & Hawaii.  After the war a Atomic Bomb was dropped on the “Battle Ship, NEW YARD” & brought back to port, after testing the damage Bill’s ship towed it back out into South Pacific Sea to be sunk. 

On a quiet evening at a friend’s home, Friday June 10, 1949 in Paragould, AK he married the love of his life, Joy Jo Page, formally from Madsonville, KY.  Following a brief honeymoon living in Houston, TX for a very short time where he worked with Sperry Products Inc.  For the next 5 years they lived in Carbondale, IL.  Over the next 14 years living in Hammond, IN, Highland, IN, Crete, IL & Steger IL.   His first job after the Navy was in a Camera Shop then a Gas Station & Sporting goods store repairing football equipment, American Steel Company, US Steel, GMC Truck Service, M&L Engine Services. 

After taking a vacation to Colorado they soon after in June of 1962 moved to Boulder, CO where he has lived in for the last 56 years, except for the last 8 months he living at Genesis Assisted Living in Lafayette, CO.

He first worked at Bruhn Company in Denver then landing his career at the National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR), as the “Logistics Support Supervisor” at the Marshall Field Observing Facility, Atmospheric Technology Division, (his daughter summarized his title “If it was not for my Daddy, the Scientists would not be able to do their Jobs” & that pretty much summed it up) for the next 25 years, traveling to such places as China, Hawaii, New Mexico, Africa (Sahara Desert) & Barbados West Indies.  His family was fortunate to go to Barbados for 2 months with him.  He Retired from NCAR in 1990 at the age of 62. 

December 16, 1955, they had a daughter Gaylan Jean & September 3, 1957 a son William (Bill) Scott.

Daughter Gaylan & husband Mike Tracy, Estes Park, CO.  Their children Michael Jr., deceased 8-19-06, Joshua & wife Metta, their children, Jessica-10, Harper-5 & Julius-3 Tracy, Estes Park CO & Thom his wife Mallory Tracy, Broomfield, CO.  (They married 6-10-17, the same day as Bill & Joy, 68 years later.  This pleased Bill so much as he was not able to attend the wedding)

Joy was Bill’s Sunshine, after he retired they did much traveling and he loved to tinker in his little shop he built in the back of their home.  He made gorgeous wooded kitchen Trash cans, wind chimes, napkin holders & much more.  Joy was quite ill her last 10 years, she was pretty much wheel chair bound but Bill took her everywhere, they loved to go to Blackhawk and stay a night or two at least once a month.  After she passed 2006 Bill lost his will to even live.  He had health problems himself and taking care of Joy really wore him down.  He had a terrible hearing loss, his knees were so bad he eventually could not walk and he began losing his sight to where the last 10 years he has not been able to drive & by the end he could hardly see even the TV.  It was very hard to communicate with him plus dementia didn’t help matters.

After Joy passed Gaylan became his caregiver, loving being able to help her father.  When her family made a career, change moving to Estes Park, CO.  Gaylan could now not take care of Bill the way needed.  With this huge concern weighing of her & Bill an Angel came to her aid, it was Gaylan’s very best girlfriend (she is a sister to her) who had been cleaning their home for the past 10-12 yrs. & thought of Bill as her second father & Bill thought of her as a daughter, took over the responsibility of his Caretaker to which Gaylan & Bill knew he would be taken well cared for. 

We will NEVER be able to Thank her enough for EVERYTHING she did for our Daddy.  Marty Foster, we Love & Thank You from the bottom of our hearts. 

Additionally, three of dad’s neighbors took wonderful care of him as well, sweeping the snow off his car (when he could drive) shoveling his side walk, bringing him food from time to time, and one neighbor would do his grocery shopping for him.  We can’t thank them enough either

He is preceded in death by his wife Joy 2-3-2006, grandson Michael Jr. 2-19-2006, sister Jean Safriet, and beloved dog Sparky.

Bill is survived by, daughter Gaylan, husband Mike Tracy, son Bill Bragg, grandchildren- Joshua, wife Metta Tracy, Thom, wife Mallory Tracy, great grandchildren, Jessica, Harper, and Julius, one nephew, three nieces, several great nieces & nephews, and his Special Friend/Daughter Marty Foster.


Memorials may be made to the Boulder Humane Society or the Wounded Warrior Project, Colorado Springs.


Services will be held at Darrelll Howe Mortuary Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 11:00 am







Tribute Video


I’m just learning now about Bill’s passing on January 1 and I’m so very sorry. Bill was a very dear friend to my father, Bob, and the two of them in later life shared many a 4 for a $1 taco lunch. Gay and Billy, your Dad was dear to us and so kind to us all. I am thinking of you and the family so much at this sad time. Sending our deepest condolences to you and all the family. Valerie McBeth.