Rex Bragg was always up to something. With his quick wit, he was a natural jokester and the instigator of many shenanigans and much mischief. Yet most importantly, Rex will be remembered for his honest demeanor and compassionate heart. He lived by way of example and was a wonderful role model for his children to live by. Rex loved his family dearly and always hardworking, he provided well for those entrusted to his care. Although he will be deeply missed, the memory of Rex will live on in the hearts of many.
The crash of the stock market in late 1929 created financial turmoil from coast to coast, and by 1930, 1,350 banks had failed in the U.S. The entertainment world was a welcome deviation from everyday worries while the infamous cartoon character, Betty Boop made her debut to the delight of many. During these changing times, the lives of John and Jenny (Weber) Bragg were made brighter by the February 6, 1930, birth of their son, Rex William Bragg in Greentown, Indiana. The youngest of eight children, Rex joined his older siblings, Chester, Leslie, Raymond Dale, Richard, Robert, Edna, and Ruth.
While times were already lean with such a large family, Rex's father worked hard as an area farmer while his mother remained at home as a homemaker. Life, as young Rex knew it, changed dramatically when he was four years old. His mother, having been diagnosed with tuberculosis, stayed at home. Robert, Edna, Ruth and Rex also having tuberculosis were sent to a sanitarium for two years to ensure the disease did not spread. Sadly, when he was merely six years old his mother succumbed to the devastating disease and passed away.
Rex spent the majority of his growing up years in the small town of Swayzee, Indiana. Like many in his youth, he found his share of mischief and relished shared adventures with neighborhood friends. He attended the local schools and made several close friends along the way. As a young man, it was through one of his good friends that Rex came to know the woman with whom he would give his heart, and her name was Glory Simmon. The year was 1950 and his friend arranged the blind, double date at the local movie house in Marion, Indiana. Perhaps it was his nerves or Rex just being Rex, but he was indeed a little obnoxious on that first date! After the movie the foursome went to Glory's home and decided to pop some popcorn on the stove. In the course of having fun and goofing off, Glory turned rather quickly with the pot of hot popcorn in her hands and accidentally hit Rex on the side of his head with it. To this day, Glory swears it certainly knocked some sense into him!
Although the couple hit it off, they didn't have the opportunity to date much after that first encounter. Rex was serving in the military at the time and was soon deployed to Korea during the Korean War. Even so, Rex and Glory kept in touch. She wrote him nice, long letters while he responded with quick, short notes. Through their correspondence love blossomed and upon his honorable discharge from the service, Rex and Glory were happily married on June 6, 1953. To their union they were blessed with three children of whom Rex was truly proud. Gary, Paula and Tonya filled Rex's heart with joy.
To support his growing family, Rex worked as a tool and die maker for almost 32 years at General Motors. He also worked as a farmhand in addition to his regular job. Rex began working at the Marion, Indiana Fisher Body Plant in 1954, and the Delco-Remy prior to that which was all part of GM. In 1966, Fisher Body transferred him to the Kalamazoo, Michigan area where he moved his family. There they set-up roots and raised their family in a loving, close knit home. Fond memories will always be treasured of fun-filled times shared as a family. Rex was always interested in the lives of his children. In fact, he began a Boy Scout Troop in Fulton where he served as scoutmaster from 1967 to 1972 in Fulton and one year in Vicksburg. In the late 1980s, Rex and Glory became members of Vicksburg United Methodist Church where they both grew in their faith.
Rex spent his free time on some of his hobbies which included woodworking, word search puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. When working in his shop, Rex could always be found listening to his favorite easy-listening radio channel, 105.7. When it came to traveling, camping and traveling went hand-in-hand for Rex and Glory. They very much enjoyed camping and over the years they were able to see all of the continental 48 states traveling in their motor home. In 1985 they even moved to Kline's Resort. They were members of the Michigan Motor Home Club as well as the Happy Traveler's Club. In addition, Rex was a member of the Vicksburg Lion's Club, UAW Local #488, the DAV and a Masonic Lodge member. He also served his community as a Wakeshma Township firefighter. While in Indiana he was a part of the Indiana Internal Security Corp.
With his lighthearted demeanor and mischievous nature, it was always a joy to share Rex's company. He was a hardworking man and a friend to many, and his loyalty knew no bounds. He was just as honest as he was compassionate towards others and his love and devotion to the family he adored was a testament to the heart of a man so well loved. Gone but never to be forgotten, Rex will be remembered for all that he was, and more.
Rex William Bragg, of Vicksburg passed away on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Glory; three children: Gary (Kathy) Bragg of Three Rivers, Paula (Randy) Lee of Kalamazoo, Tonya (Robert) Weiandt of Portage; eight grandchildren: Trisha (Joseph) Howard of Greenville, Dawn (Kyle) Rice of Three Rivers, Kristen (Calvin) Klinger of Vicksburg, Jeremy Lee of Kalamazoo, Nicholas (Kelsey) Lee of Parchment; Elizabeth Lee of Kalamazoo, Karl (Elysia) Armstrong of Three Rivers, Katherine (Khanh) Dang of Caledonia; 11 great-grandchildren: Emily, Riley, Addison, Nathan, Colton, Collin, Karlie, Izzabella, Caden, Ryan, and Micah. He is preceded in death by two great-grand angel babies and his seven siblings.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 21st at 11am at the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. The family will begin receiving friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Please visit Rex's webpage at www.mccowensecord.com where you can sign his online guestbook and share a memory. Those who wish may make contributions to South County Help A Vet Fund and Wreaths Across America at wreathsacrossamerica-braggfamily on facebook. The McCowen & Secord Family Life Story Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697).