The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death October 27, 2000 of John R. “Jack” Bracebridge at Falmouth Hospital. He was 63.
Jack was born October 6, 1937 and raised in Rutland, MA. He attended Worcester Academy and Lenox Prep School, and took courses at Worcester Polytechnic Institute before joining the U.S Air Force. Jack attended the Air Force’s flight training school and squadron officer’s school, serving as a captain and pilot for thirteen years. He flew a number of aircraft, including the British Camberras, in the Vietnam War, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for his service to the nation.
His career as a carpenter began in 1977 when he joined Boden Enterprises of Cotuit. He later worked for Oman Associates of Hyannis, and from 1979 to 1982 was a carpenter at V&V Construction Company of East Falmouth.
Jack joined the WHOI staff in August 1982 as a carpenter and was promoted to Senior Carpenter in 1989. In 1994 he was named Carpenter Shop Supervisor. Patient and polite, Jack’s soft-spoken manner and good nature inspired many at the Institution and beyond. His bright spirit and desire to help people was evident in every aspect of his life, from his volunteer efforts for the American Red Cross Bloodmobile to the Institution’s early response first aid team. Jack’s commitment to the Institution was recognized by his fellow employees in September 2000 when he received the Institution’s Vetlesen Award for “exceptional contributions not merely above and beyond superb performance of their jobs and service on committees, but for true selfless dedication of a major portion of themselves to the entire WHOI community over a long period of time.” Jack epitomized the “WHOI spirit.”
Active in the Boy Scouts for many years, Jack served as Scoutmaster of Troop 38 in North Falmouth and as a member of the Troop Committee. For years he collected cans at the Institution, using the recycling funds to buy camping and other equipment for the troop, in which many WHOI families participated. “His years as Scoutmaster and then Troop Committee Chairman helped insure the success of the troop,” a colleague wrote. “He has served the Boy Scouts in various capacities over the years, teaching them about camping, canoeing, and the myriad of other things that one learns in the scouts. But above all, he has taught them by example the importance of being a hard worker and being a good person.”
Jack was also an avid hiker and camper, and was an active member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, helping the club to maintain trails. He also enjoyed gardening and model airplanes.
He is survived by his wife, Bobbie J. (Scott) Bracebridge, of East Falmouth, MA; three daughters, Shannon Bracebridge of Gulfport, MS, Kelly Denham of Columbus, GA, and Audrey Borowski of Boston, MA; and a brother, Edward Bracebridge, of Rutland. He was also the father of the late Kenneth Borowski.
Visiting hours will be held Monday, October 30, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth. A funeral mass will be celebrated October 31 at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church on Main Street in Falmouth. Burial will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Falmouth.
Memorial contributions in Jack’s name may be made to the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 38 Scribe Account, c/o Plymouth Savings Bank, 117 Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540.