May 31, 2006
UNION ó Services for Denver Brackeen will be held today at 2 p.m. at Decatur United Methodist Church with the Revs. Johnny Crosby, Hank Winstead, Billy Owen and Frank Kirtley officiating. Burial will be in Union City Cemetery. Stephens Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Brackeen, 75, of Union, died Monday, May 29, 2006, in his home. He was born on Feb. 10, 1931, in Hickory. He was the second child of Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Brackeen Sr. He attended Hickory High School and graduated in 1949. His great love was basketball and he was an all state basketball player in high school.
Denver joined the Mississippi National Guard in May 1949 and enrolled at East Central Junior College in September 1949. He played on the East Central Basketball Team as center until January 1951 when the Decatur Unit was activated for the Korean Conflict and he was sent to Ft. Jackson, S.C.
He was deactivated from Camp Atterbury, In d., in 1952 and returned to East Central Junior College where he graduated in 1953. He made All State and All American in basketball. While at East Central he was chosen most valuable player in the nation. In 1953 he enrolled at Ole Miss where he received a bachelorís degree in physical education and a masterís degree in education. While there he made all South Eastern Conference (SEC) for two years, was the most valuable player in the SEC and was chosen All American.
He was drafted by the New York Knickerbockers and played a short time with them before returning to East Central as basketball coach in 1955.
In May 1956, he received a direct appointment as Second Lt. in the Mississippi National Guard and was assigned as a radar officer with the 932nd Field Artillery Battalion. In September 1956, he was assigned as training commander, service battery with the 932nd and in May 1958, he became a battery commander with the 932nd Field Howitzer Battalion. He was assigned as a battery commander with the 4th Howitzer Battalion, 114th Field Artillery in May 1959. In February 1968 he was assigned to the 631st Field Artillery as logistics officer and became operations and training officer in July 1971. He returned to the 4th Battalion, 114th Field Artillery in February 1972, as executive officer and became Battalion Executive Officer in January 1980 and June of that year was named the Brigade Commander.
He was appointed to the post of assistant Adjutant General in 1983. He was promoted and federally recognized as a Brigadier General, Adjutant Generalís Corps on Feb. 19, 1984. He was named special advisor for military affairs in February 1990 by former Governor Ray Mabus and served in that position until his retirement from the National Guard in February 1992 with the rank of Major General.
During the time he was employed at East Central Junior College, he served as basketball coach, counselor, director of admissions, academic dean, director of financial aid and dean of students.
Mr. Brackeenís honors include National Junior College Hall of Fame, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, ECJC Athletic Hall of Fame, ECJC Alumnus of the year, Ole Miss Athletic Hall of Fame, and Legend of the Year in SEC Basketball.
His military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Reserve Componentís Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Non-Commissioned Officer Development Ribbon and Service Ribbon. His Mississippi Awards and decorations include the Magnolia Cross, Magnolia Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Commendation Medal, War Medal, Emergency Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Service School Medal, Longevity Medal with One Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and the Honorary Order of Saint Barbara, Field Artillery.
He was appointed by former Governor Ronnie Musgrove to the State Board of Community and Jun ior Colleges in 2002 for an eight year term.
Survivors include his wife, Charlotte Wells Brackeen of Union; a son, Morgan Brackeen, of Union; grandchildren, Johnathan Brackeen, Sable Brackeen, Dillon Brackeen and Ashlee Brackeen; mother-in-law, Ethel Wells of Union; several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and a brother, W.M. Brackeen Jr. and his wife, Berniece.
He was preceded in death by his son, Charlie Wells Brackeen and parents, William and Vera Brackeen.
Memorials may be made to The Denver Brackeen Scholarship Fund at East Central Community College in Decatur.