Robert Francis Brainard, Brigidair General (Retired)




(July 14, 1922-October 23, 2005)


Brigidair General (Retired), Robert Francis Brainard died Sunday, October 23, 2005.

He proudly served his country for 40 years. An enlisted man in the Navy during World War II, he served as a beach master leader, setting up signal positions on South Pacific Beaches the night before invasions. He was awarded a Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. After the War he joined the Oregon National Guard and quickly received a direct commission as an officer. He was soon a Company Commander. He transferred to the California National Guard in 1959 and assumed various commands. He ran the Officer Candidate School. He was a commander of troops activated to police the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965. In 1968 he led the only National Guard Unit mobilized to fight in Viet Nam, where he served with distinction. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Vietnamese Medal of Honor in 1977, now a Brigadier General he commanded one of two armies in the largest United States military joint training exercised ever conducted, to prepare for desert warfare in the Middle East.

"Bob" Brainard was born in Pasadena, California, and died in Sun City, Arizona. His education interrupted by World War II, he returned to college as an adult and earned a degree in Civil Engineering. His combination of engineering skills and command presence placed him in high demand of major corporations, such as Xerox and MCI, who wanted someone who could "get things done." He worked all over the United States finally settling in Arizona for retirement. He and wife "Jo" traveled throughout the world and doted on their family. He loved to play gold and had a glorious retirement. His instructions for his eulogy were to "not make me out to be a hero," a statement typical of his generation.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Josephine; six children: Joyce Everett (deceased); Janice Kern and Gerald Brainard of Arizona; Lauren and Larrie Brainard, Deborah Tobey of California; sixteen grandchildren; and twelve great grandchildren. We have many wonderful memories and thank him for a wonderful life.

Services were held with military honors at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, November 13, 2005 at Sunland Mortuary, 15826 N. Del Webb Boulevard, Sun City, Arizona. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85014.

Addendum: On April 5, 2011, Josephine Annette Brainard passed away in Sun City, AZ. She is buried beside Robert Francis Brainard in the Cave Creek National Cemetery.

Both Josephine and Robert will be missed by their family.


Robert Francis Brainard, as a baby held by Grandma Mary Lusher Robson. Beside her is her father, Henry Lusher, and on the far right is Robert's mother, Ella "Dinah" Robson. Photo taken circa 1922.

Young Robert Francis Brainard in the Navy during World War II, photo taken circa 1942.




This website courtesy of PALH, created by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

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