Olin Williams (Ace) Bracken Jr., 90, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, at the Sherman Hospice Home in Phoenix.
He is now absent from the body but is in the presence of the Lord.
“Ace,” as he was known to so many loving friends and family, was born Nov. 9, 1923, in Corry, to Olin W. and Vellah Morgan Bracken Sr. Ace was raised and attended Corry schools, graduating from Corry High School in 1941. Ace was elected class president as a junior and senior. Always a good athlete, he excelled in football and basketball. He was starting back guard on the basketball team his junior year when they were the Erie County champs.
After high school, he worked numerous jobs until enlisting in 1943. He proudly served his country in the 45th Division of the U.S. Army, 180th Infantry Anti-tank Division, during World War II until the conclusion of the war in 1945. He fought in Italy, Southern France and through the Rhineland in Central Europe. Ace was wounded by shrapnel from an enemy mortar round in France in November 1944.
Following World War II, he began his apprenticeship with his father at Bracken-Keating Funeral Home. He then attended and graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and then began work full time at the funeral home. Ace enlisted in the Army Reserves and was called back to active service for the Korean Conflict. He received several medals of honor during his years of service, including The Purple Heart and The Bronze Star. After his honorable discharge from the Army in 1951, he returned to Corry and partnered with his brother, Bob, in operating Bracken Funeral Home until his retirement in 1987.
He was a faithful member of First Southern Baptist Church in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he was baptized at the age of 81.
Ace enjoyed swimming, golf, tennis, scuba diving and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He and his mother built and enjoyed many years at the family cottage in Findley Lake, N.Y.
He was very active in the community, holding leadership positions with more than 20 organizations throughout his career. He was a founding member and first president of the Corry Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Cecilia Sullivan Bracken, whom he married May 1, 1954, in Sharon. Also by his brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert and Mary Loveland Bracken, and Charles “Bud” and Barbara Barton Bracken; and stepdaughter, Holly Jaquith.
Ace is survived by his wife of 23 years, Lynne Loveland Bracken, a daughter Nancy (Tom) Roche of Findley Lake; and three sons, Bill (Amy) Bracken of Corry, Jim (Jody) Bracken of Bay Village, Ohio, and Tim (Mary) Bracken of Conneaut Lake. He is also survived by three stepchildren, Debbi (Mark) Hulings of Coraopolis, Eric Jaquith of Phoenix and Cory (Missy) Turben of Columbus. Ace was also the proud grandfather of 18 grandchildren, Lindsay (Jim) Franks, Steven, Jonathan, Tyler, Ryan and Tess Bracken, Chris (Keeler), Alexis and Ellie Roche, Jim (Rachel), Caleb, Holli and Zachary Falbo, Jake and Kari Kondrlik, Levi Jaquith and Alexa and Zachary Turben; and three great-grandchildren, Lauren Roche, Ezekiel and Abel Franks.
“Uncle Ace” was a favorite to his many nieces and nephews.
Friends and family are invited to attend calling hours at Bracken Funeral Home Inc., 315 N. Center St., Corry, on Friday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 607 W. Smith St., Corry, on Saturday at 11 a.m. Retired Lay Pastor Dan McEldowney will officiate.
Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery in Corry.
Ace lived his life with the belief that it is better to give than to receive.
Memorials may be sent to First Southern Baptist Church, Music Department, 5230 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Ariz. 85253; or YMCA of Corry, 906 N. Center St. Corry, Pa. 16407.
To sign the guestbook or send condolences, visit brackenfh.com.