AUBURN — William “Bill” Brace, 98, died Monday, January 16, 2023 at his home in rural Auburn, Indiana.
He was born on December 28, 1924 in Garrett, Indiana to the late Fordyce C. and Ethel V. (Hinkley) Brace.
He married Donna L. Yoder on May 21, 1948 and she preceded him in death on May 15, 2017.
Survived are his children Suzanne (Robert) Carpenter of Auburn, Indiana, Diane (Charles) Barrington of South Bend, Indiana, Colleen (James) Conrad of Huntertown, Indiana, Kurt Brace of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Ramona (Tim ) Brindle of Auburn , Indiana, Julie Brace Hissong of Auburn, Indiana, Linda Wallace (Rick Smith) of Fort Myers Beach, Florida, and Nathan (Brandi) Brace of Evans, Georgia; 24 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; nine great-great grandchildren; and Sister Ruth Liechty of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Sharon R. Smith; brothers Dale J. Brace and John E. Brace; and brother-in-law Paul Liechty.
He was living a life from a bygone era. He grew up during the tough times of the Great Depression and attended a one-room schoolhouse in Hopewell, Indiana. After a long walk to school, he checked his lanyards and then placed his shotgun in the corner of the classroom next to the other students’ rifles. The break was for students only. “What happened on the playground stayed on the playground,” he used to say.
Bill joined the Navy during World War II to get away from the monotony of the farm. He attended military officer training at Purdue University and was posted to Duke University. He distinguished himself as a member of the boxing team in college. While stationed in San Francisco Bay, he survived a sinking wooden ship that caught fire by swimming ashore. Having never seen a fight abroad, he humbly declined all honor flight invitations to Washington DC, feeling the honor belonged to others.
He met his wife Donna at the old Silver Moon Ice Rink in Waterloo and they were married for 69 years.
Dad insisted that we quote him as saying, “I don’t care if Indiana University beats Purdue University, or Purdue University beats Indiana University, or if they even play the game.”
The call will be held on Friday, January 20, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Hopewell United Brethren Church, 6852 CR 35 Auburn, Indiana.
A celebration of life will follow at 1:00 p.m. in the church, led by Pastor Charles Barrington.
Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Auburn, Indiana.
Memorials may be addressed to ProMedica (Heartland) Hospice, 2720 Dupont Commerce Court #210, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.
To view an online obituary and to sign the guest book, visit cbwfuneralhome.com.