Richard Townend Bracken, beloved husband, father and grandfather and 52-year Catonsville resident, died on October 17, 2019 at age 84 at the St. Elizabeth Rehab and Nursing Center where he resided for three years. Richard (Dick) was born in East Orange, New Jersey and moved to Maryland in 1939. He was the son of Mary (Wheatley) and Thomas Bracken. Dick grew up on Palmer Avenue in Pimlico.
Dick attended Robert E. Lee Accelerate School #49 in Baltimore and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute where he graduated in 1953 from the “A” course. He played football and baseball at Poly. Dick also played for the Gordon’s Stores sandlot baseball team where one of his teammates was Hall of Famer Al Kaline.
After graduating from high school, Dick worked for Associated Consulting Engineers where he surveyed the original Baltimore Beltway. Dick served in the Army for two years of active duty (1956 to 1958) and six years in the Reserves. While stationed in Louisiana, he played football and baseball for the Fort Polk team.
In 1961, Dick earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was a member of the Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu Honor Societies. Dick received a master’s degree in 1977 in business financial management from George Washington University.
From 1961 to 1964, Dick was manufacturing department manager and assistant plant engineer at the Proctor & Gamble Manufacturing Company in Locust Point. He also held a variety of management positions for Enjay and Chevron Fibers in Odenton from 1964 to 1983, where he managed a fleet of ocean barges that sailed from Pensacola, Florida to Puerto Rico.
After a short stint as plant manager at Ametek in Odenton, Dick worked for the Industrial Scientific Protective Applications Company (ISPA) in Baltimore from 1984 to 1988 in management positions and as Chief Operating Officer. He then became Manager of Electrical Engineering at Environmental Elements Corporation from 1988 to 1994. The last two years of Dick’s professional career were spent as Director of Sales and Marketing for Ketema’s fiber division in Odenton from 1994 to 1996.
Dick coached Little League baseball teams in Howard Park and his daughters’ Catonsville Recreation softball teams for many years. He also enjoyed photography and he built a darkroom in his home to develop his photos. Other interests included woodworking, jazz music, dancing, traveling, and attending Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts.
In his retirement, Dick volunteered at the Catonsville Library, where he archived obituaries and photographs and was treasurer of the Friends of the Catonsville Library. Dick, who was on the board of the Central and Catonsville YMCA, was also a Junior Achievement advisor and a Life Scout.
Dick was a member of Mensa and the Sharon Masonic Lodge #182 for 55 years. He was also a devoted member of Catonsville United Methodist Church for 50 years, where he had been treasurer and a member of several committees and the administrative board.
Dick was happily married to Carolyn Elizabeth (Lynch) Bracken for 58 years. He was the devoted father of Karen Higby and her husband Mark and Linda Bowman and her husband Philip, and the loving grandfather of Ann Higby, Sarah Knight (James), Emily Crews (Tarrence), Michael Bowman, Gregory Bowman (Danielle) and Kristina Bowman.
On Saturday, November 16th, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, and on Sunday, November 17th, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, family and friends are invited to visit with the family in the church parlor. A Memorial Service will be held at the church on Sunday, November 17th, at 3:00 pm. Interment, at a later date, will be at Druid Ridge Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick’s memory may be made to: Catonsville United Methodist Church, 6 Melvin Avenue, Catonsville, MD 21228.
Catonsville United Methodist Church
6 Melvin Ave., Catonsville MD 21228