Our dear friend and long-time Questing Heirs member Robert Brasher passed away November 21, 2012.
Below is the text of an online obituary detailing his long and interesting life. This obituary, along with an online guest book, can be found at http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Robert-Brasher&lc=4912&pid=161303074&mid=5324028.
In Memory of
Robert Brasher Jr.
September 28, 1920 – November 21, 2012
Robert Earnest Brasher, Jr. was born in Henderson, TX on September 28, 1920, to Robert Brasher, Sr. and Esther Ross Brasher. In 1924 the family moved to southwest Oklahoma for health reasons and settled in Mangum in Greer County.
Robert attended Mangum schools, played the clarinet in the high school band and graduated in 1939; he attended Mangum Junior College in 1939 and 1940.
In 1940, Robert joined the Oklahoma National Guard and was assigned to a machine gun company. He later asked for a transfer to the band and joined the 45th Division, known as “The Thunderbirds.”
After basic training at Fort Sill, his unit was sent to Camp Barkeley near Abilene where he met Doris Rae Meyer, whom he married in November 1942 in Ayer, Mass.
In June 1943, the 45th Division sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia to Oran, North Africa to get ready for the invasion of Sicily, where they went ashore on July 10, 1943. Robert was also in the battle of Salerno and the landing at Anzio. In August 1944, the 45th Division invaded southern France in the operation known as “The Second D-Day.” They celebrated Memorial Day 1945 in Munich.
Returning home in June 1945, Robert lived in Oklahoma City with his father and stepmother after he and Doris ended their marriage. He became a postal clerk-carrier by day and attended classes in music and writing at Oklahoma City University in the evenings, assisted by the G.I. Bill. A librarian at the city library suggested Robert study for a library career, and he completed a Master’s degree in library science at the University of Denver in 1954.
Robert’s library career included cataloging and driving the bookmobile at Sonoma County Library in Santa Rosa, cataloging at Whittier Public Library, and working at California State University Long Beach from 1956 to his retirement in 1986.
Robert’s career in music included tenor soloist at Calvary Presbyterian Church and Geneva Presbyterian Church, Los Altos United Methodist Church choir, and performing in Long Beach Civic Light Opera productions of “South Pacific” and “Damn Yankees.”
His research into his family history took him to Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Scotland, London, and Canterbury Cathedral. He was a long-time member of Questing Heirs and the Orange County, CA Genealogical Society. On a trip to Belgium, he found many Brasseurs, the original spelling of his family name, in local telephone directories.
Robert is survived by his wife, the former Marilyn DeLonjay, whom he married in July 1962; daughter Elaine Brasher, son Mark Brasher and his wife Marcy Holmer Brasher, daughter Denise Brasher Basu and her husband Kaushik Basu, foster daughter Alicia Leonard Watrous and her husband Brian Watrous; grandchildren Deep Basu, Aakash Basu, Zachary Brasher, Anneliese Brasher, and nephew Floyd Lee Walker of Alameda, CA.
He was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother Ora Childress Brasher; sisters Mildred Brasher, Maurine Zaluk, and Rossie Brasher.
Robert’s body will be cremated and his ashes inurned at Riverside National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2012, 5950 E. Willow St., Long Beach, CA 90815. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation to an educational institution or charity of your choosing be considered.