Aug 01,1941---Nov 18,2021

Fred L. Bracken passed away on November 18, 2021 at the age of 80 at St. Luke’s North Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. He was born August 1, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois to Fred and Bonnie (Velma Opal Roach) Bracken.  His was a loving home in which his father often worked two jobs, and his mother made sure the family and home were well cared for.  Fred had one sister fourteen years his senior, (Juanita) Jackie, whom he adored. Jackie’s children Pam, Tim, and Bill were always part of Fred’s life. 

After graduating from Elmwood Park High School he attended the University of Illinois Urbana, where he received his undergraduate degree in the Social Sciences.  There he met Nannette Clark, and they were married in 1962.  Fred accepted a scholarship, and earned a master's degree in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He was soon credentialed as a Licensed Professional Social Worker (LPSW).  Fred began his professional career in Green Bay, WI.  A new job took the Bracken Family to Kansas City, Kansas in 1969.

Fred and Nanette had 10 children during their 21-year marriage.  From those children there are 21 grandchildren - 20 boys and 1 girl - and dozens of great-grandchildren. Ironically at one time Fred was the last male bearing the Bracken name, an issue he alleviated as one of his many accomplishments. 

Fred’s professional career spanned more than 45 years. From clinical social work to narcotic addiction counseling to aiding the elderly in nursing homes, Fred’s mission in his profession was to relieve human suffering.  He was a problem solver who did not mince words and kept his clients’ best interests’ paramount. 

Fred married Bonnie Bennett in 1990 in Kansas City where they began adventures, moving to Arizona when they retired in 2011.  The Pacific Northwest was always their beloved second home, where they had many friends and enjoyed the ocean and beautiful forests and mountains.

 Fred always loved aviation and the complexities and beauty of aircraft of all eras.  In Arizona he began a radio-controlled model airplane hobby that became a passion.  He was an active member of the Central Arizona Modelers Club, serving as treasurer.  He loved the airfield, the machines, and the men who spent their time enjoying the small victories of a smooth landing and a trimmed downwind turn.  He also enjoyed the collective roaring laughter when someone crashed their model airplane. 

Photography was another of Fred's passions.  He left an extensive portfolio of landscape photos from the Pacific Northwest and Arizona as well as the Smoky Mountains, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Wisconsin, California, Alaska, and locales in the Midwest.  Some of his favorite subjects were tulip fields and rugged beaches in Washington, hummingbirds, airplanes and antique cars.  He loved to travel, and very much enjoyed learning about the history of the areas he visited.

Fred was a devoted baseball fan and scholar.  Raised on Cubs games in Chicago and later cheering on the Royals in Kansas City, baseball was always his joy.  A hallmark of living in Arizona was attending KC Royals spring training games in Surprise, Arizona.  He proudly passed on his love and passion for the sport to many of his children.  Fred’s knowledge of the game, players and stats rivaled almost any fan, past or present.  

Fred was an avid reader particularly enjoying the spy genre, mysteries, and suspense. He loved  Mexican and Italian food, and Kansas City BBQ.  As a high school kid he worked at Russell’s BBQ in Chicago, which opened in 1930 and is still in business.  He loved their sauce and ordered it by the case. 

A forever-curious intellectual, Fred spent several decades conducting the time-consuming and extensive work of tracing family genealogy.  Through scores of cemetery visits, courthouse research trips and hotel stays, Fred discovered that the Bracken namesake has a proud American legacy.  From the Virginia frontier through Kentucky, Illinois and Oklahoma, discovering creeks and ridges bearing the Bracken name motivated his continued research.  Completely by chance, in 2005 on a street in Mason City Illinois, Fred and several of his children met a man who had been Fred’s grandfather’s milkman.  He directed the lost Bracken group to the “Old Bracken House” where his grandfather had lived.  Fred beamed for years remembering this event. 

Fred and Bonnie moved back to Kansas City in May 2021. Fred’s health had been declining.   A heart valve problem was discovered, which proved fatal.

Fred was predeceased by his parents Fred and Bonnie Bracken, his sister Jackie, and children Allen, Mary Beeding, and David.  Fred is survived by his wife of 31 years, Bonnie Bennett, and his children Janet, Steven, Patrick, Christopher, Timothy, Dennis, and Bonnie Shannon.

Interment of ashes will be Friday December 3 at 11:00 AM at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery at 126th & Parallel,  Kansas City, KS.  A celebration of life will follow at 1:00 Friday at the Diamond Club in Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Missouri.  Family and friends are invited to attend both events in remembrance of Fred.



Condolences

Ryan Dec 02 ,2021

family freind ,Madison ,AL

I am so sorry for Bracken's family loss....He lived a great life and had an impact on so many people's lives. God Bless.....

LETTIE Dec 03 ,2021

Family friend ,Clarkesville ,Georgia

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. I will never forget the day I met him and the words of encouragement he gave me.