SACKETS HARBOR, NY — Harry E. Bracken, 90, of North Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Sackets Harbor, NY, passed away Oct. 9, 2021, at the Hospice Residence at the Ellis Farm in Watertown surrounded by family and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret “Peggy” (Gorri) Bracken; a son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Jeanne Bracken, Spencerport, NY; a daughter and son-in-law, Diane (Bracken) and Lee Funderburk, Greenwood, SC; a brother, Raymond E. Bracken, Jr., Franklin, NC; a step-daughter, Gina Girard, of Seabright, N.J.; eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Jean (Dieser) Bracken, his second wife, Marcia Canale-Bracken, a son, Kevin E. Bracken, and a sister-in-law, Georgia Bracken.
A beloved husband, adored father, inspirational coach, and patriot, Harry was born on July 3, 1931 in Philadelphia, Pa., son of Raymond E. and Elizabeth Elfrey Bracken. He attended Maple Shade (N.J.) School and graduated from Moorestown High School in 1949. During his career he also attended night classes at Rutgers University for six years.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1949 and following boot camp and Hospital Corpsman school, served at two naval hospitals in Virginia and Connecticut before transferring to the Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii, where he helped care for service members wounded in Korea.
He returned home in October of 1953 to Blackwood, N.J. and later moved to Endwell, N.Y. During this time he held a variety of positions with Carter Paper Co., Blackwood Chrysler Plymouth, Columbia Records Co., Lander Company and Vail Ballou Press, Inc. Following a move to Watertown, NY, he worked first at Climax Manufacturing in Casterland and subsequently at Boise Cascade. He also joined the U.S. Army National Guard and Reserves, serving more than 16 years before retiring in 1993.
In Watertown, he met and married Marcia. Together they owned and operated I Cater To You, a catering business serving an upscale experience to clients across the north country for 16 years.
Following Marcia’s death in 2001, he married Peggy who was also from Watertown. The couple has wintered in South Carolina and spent summers at the lake.
Harry was an avid sportsman and coach throughout his life. He enjoyed bowling, golfing, tennis, and later, pickle ball, staying active his entire life. He especially enjoyed coaching kids in a church youth basketball league as well as playing with and coaching them in a fast-pitch softball league. As pickle ball started to gain popularity, he helped establish the sport in the Watertown area.
Harry was also a member of the Italian-American Civic Association, the Knights of Columbus, Northern N.Y. Transportation Club, Northern N.Y. Purchasing Agents, and a Communicant of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and Our Lady Star of the Sea serving as a Eucharistic Minister at both churches.
Arrangements are with the Hart & Bruce Funeral Home where calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, October 15.
The family will celebrate a funeral Mass 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church with the Rev. Donald Robinson officiating. Burial will follow in Glenwood Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County. Thank you to all of the fantastic staff there who cared so passionately for Harry.
Online condolences may be made at www.hartandbrucefh.com