Sunday, October 12, 2014

Obituary: John Brady

John Brady
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- John Davis Brady, 80, of Great Kills, a pilot, retired city Sanitation official and a committed volunteer who was dedicated to his family and his community, died Friday at home.

Born in the Bronx, he was brought to Staten Island as a boy. After graduating from Curtis High School, he attended a pre-engineering program at Carlsbad (Calif.) College and later attended Staten Island Community College.

Mr. Brady had a passion for flying early on and received his private pilot's license at age 17. He soon bought his own plane and flew it from the former Staten Island Airport in New Springville.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 to 1956, stationed in Japan.

Mr. Brady joined the U.S. Army in the late 1950s and went to its Flight School in Fort Rucker, Ala., and Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Test Pilot School in Fort Eustis, Va., graduating with distinction and becoming both a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot. He also was a member of the Army National Guard in New Jersey, based in Trenton, for 40 years and attained the rank of chief warrant officer IV.

An accomplished pilot, Mr. Brady flew many types of aircraft and was known as "Mr. Smoothie" for his piloting skills, family said. In addition to his military flying experience, he had worked as a private pilot for Trump Air Inc. and Ronson Oil Co.

He went to work for the city Sanitation Department as a mechanic in 1963 and became a director of motor equipment. In 1988, he was chief of motor transport for the city Emergency Medical Service. He retired in 1994.

A tireless volunteer, he gave generously of his time and energy at Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home. Most recently, he was an instructor for the SeniorNet computer training program at the Jewish Community Center.

Mr. Brady enjoyed time with his family and spending summers at his vacation home on Long Beach Island, N.J.

He was a 50-year parishioner of St. Clare's R.C. Church, Great Kills, where he had been a Eucharistic minister for 25 years.

He and his childhood sweetheart, Kathryn Freeman, wed in 1954. The couple had been married for 44 years when she died in 1998.

Surviving are his son, John Jr., his daughters, Kathleen Quinn, Patricia Levy and Elizabeth Meurer; two brothers, Patrick and Michael; a sister, Julieann Leach; nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be Wednesday from the Casey McCallum Rice South Shore Funeral Home, Great Kills, with a mass at 9:45 a.m. in St. Clare's Church. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Pleasant Plains.

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