Some legends make their names in particular towns. Not Joseph Brammer, one of the last of our country’s "greatest generation" of World War II veterans.
Brammer death Monday at 94 was felt beyond his native Hackensack, where "Lucky," as they called him, operated Brammer Construction for many years.
It was felt at American Legion Post #876 in River Edge, where the decorated Navy veteran of World War ll was an ambitious poppy seller and was awarded and named poppy chairman, surgeon and quartermaster.
Likewise, it was felt at American Legion Post #170 in Rochelle Park.
It extended much further than that.
For 65 years, Brammer – a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason – held the title of Master Mason of Euclid Lodge #136 in Hasbrouck Heights, where he was bestowed the highly honorable award of the Distinguished White Apron.
He's featured in this video about Freemasonry:
Once a civilian again, Brammer worked with the Mounted Patrol Division of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, protecting county residents and businesses.
Then there are the countless lives that "Lucky," as they called him, affected through his service to his country.
Born into a large family without much to go around, Brammer was considered a man of few needs, loved ones said.
He learned to appreciate the value of a dollar – as well as everything around him, they said -- and had a particular talent for making unique parts for things with his own hands.
Brarmmer was “very set in his ways” but “taught us how to appreciate different ways of doing things -- even if it was the harder way -- and how to make the most of everything,” family members wrote in his obituary.
“He was a tough love kind of guy letting us know there's more to us than we thought and helping us to realize we have lots of potential to do so much more in our lives,” they added.
Brammer was predeceased by his wife of 71 years, Antoinette, who was 86 when she passed in 2016; their children, Joanne Neves and Charles Brammer, their grandchildren -- Jennifer, Kimberly, Paulo, Leigh, Jamie, Jillian -- and great-grandchildren. He had four siblings: Jean, Yvonne and Leon.
Family members called him “an icon, a legend, a hero in our eyes and hearts.”
“He left huge boots to fill, but also a challenge worth living up to and following,” they wrote.
AMass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady Queen of Peace R.C. Church, 400 Maywood Ave., Maywood, followed by interment in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Hackensack.
Visiting hours: 4-9 p.m. Thursday at G. Thomas Gentile Funeral Home, 397 Union Street, Hackensack.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Joseph Brammer’s memory to: Hasbrouck Heights Dyslexic Learning Center, 301 Division Ave., Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604.
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