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Edwin Lee Braly
October 25, 1938 ~ April 15, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Edwin Lee Braly was born October 25, 1938 to Emmett Lee.and Carrie Audean (Meek) Braly in Breckenridge, Texas. In a terrible economy his father moved from job to job until he found steady work in Jerome, Idaho. Audean and Edwin joined him there October 23, 1940.
Emmett accepted a better job in Prineville in 1942. Audean and Edwin arrived by bus March 8. Emmett worked for the Forest Service and then sawmills before starting his own
timber business after the war. From July 20 to September 19, 1942, the family lived at the Maury Mountain Drake Butte lookout.
Edwin started school in Prineville at five. Although severe hay fever sometimes confined him to his room for days and bifocals made playing ball impractical, he was always liked by other children. In a very popular statewide series of yo-yo contests he placed second in Crook County. He took guitar lessons, became a serious stamp collector, a Cub Scout and later a Boy Scout. In high school, he was a member of the wrestling team, the Spanish Club, and excelled at chess.
Ed became a voracious reader, expanding from a boyhood fascination with science fiction to an interest in every sort of fiction and nonfiction. He remained so for the rest of his life.
After his father bought the Three Rivers Ranch in Jefferson County, Ed and his friend Donald Owens worked there summers. One of Ed's tasks was to haul river water up the steep Metolius canyon road to the cattle troughs, driving a war surplus Dodge Power Wagon with so many gears he later said the experience taught him to drive any motor vehicle.
Enlisting in the Air Force in August 1956,, he received basic training at Parks AFB California before being sent to the Supply Records Specialist School at Warren Air Base in Wyoming and later to Laredo AFB Texas.
Deployed for two years to Japan, Ed, an airman second class, was eventually entrusted with the responsibilities of a tech sergeant. He led a small team that inventoried USAF radar stations and transferred them to the Japanese or South Koreans with Ed's signature.
From the Tachikawa Air Base, his duties took him to many places in Japan and South Korea. Occasionally he had to visit Japan's air force headquarters. Usually it was routine work. But once he was the sole passenger aboard a USAF cargo plane that was the only plane flying over Japan during a hurricane. Another time, a Japanese officer turned a routine transfer into an elaborate ceremony catered by a geisha.
The Area Commander praised Ed's handling of the complex transactions as "superior" in a long letter of commendation at the end of his deployment. His "calm, level-headed approach to new functions and problems which had not been staffed has resulted in implementing and perfecting procedures relative to in-place transfer actions" and he "has worked closely and confidentially with foreign Air Force personnel of field grade rank or higher. His natural attributes of diplomacy and tact has reflected merit upon himself, USAF and U.S. government in his teamwork with other Commands" and the Japanese and South Korean air forces.
Ed found his new assignment at Seymour-Johnson AFB in North Carolina, mostly filing records, so boring that he admitted he sometimes had trouble staying awake.
Enlistment done, back in Prineville Ed assisted his father part time but was unenthusiastic about the timber business although his father's associates were impressed by his abilities. He never visited the sawmill of Lost River Lumber in Idaho while its vice president. Instead he went to work for the Forest Service to earn money for college.
Ed became the surveyor at Rager Ranger station. While doing this, he discovered a previously unknown spring on Wolf Mountain.
After finishing Central Oregon Community College in 1966, he earned a bachelor of science degree from Oregon State University in 1968. A mathematics major, he also studied the relatively new field of computer languages, especially as applied to mathematics. He later took post-graduate courses at OSU.
Returning to Prineville, he took a job stacking lumber at COIN Millwork. He rose through various jobs until he became a saw operator. The work left time for reading and other activities. While COIN changed names and owners Ed remained until retirement.
Although Ed, 84, had experienced several health problems in recent years, his death in Bend March 15 was unexpected.
Prineville Funeral Home was in charge of the burial. Ed had requested no service. He is survived by his brother David.