William Burchett Brantley Sr.

Published 10:41 pm Monday, January 22, 2018

William “Bill” Burchett Brantley Sr. was reunited with Jesus on Jan. 9, 2018, following a long battle with complications related to a fall and resulting traumatic brain injury in February 2017.

He was 79 years old, but was young at heart and had a strong personality, a dry wit, and a profound love for his beloved wife and family. Bill had fond memories of his childhood; he was born and raised in Suffolk and attended school with the same group of close friends and neighbors until he was transferred to and graduated from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham.

As a child, Bill was especially close to his grandfather, who insisted that little Billy accompany him to business meetings and real estate purchases; his grandfather even had his name changed on his birth certificate so he would be his namesake. His grandparents lived in the house across the street, and Billy ate most of his meals and had his own bedroom at their house also. He was devastated when his grandfather died in his arms at the age of 12.


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Following his graduation, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he was a signalman. He attended Elon College briefly prior to his marriage to Mary Hennessy, and they had four children together. He served as a Scoutmaster and coached Little League teams when he was raising his family. He was active in the Rotary Club and was also a member of the Elks Club. Bill obtained his pilot’s license and lived in Southern California until the mid-1980s when he relocated to Gig Harbor, Wash. He was proud to serve as a Washington state representative to the Republican National Presidential Convention and was invited to the inauguration in 1989.

Bill was a talented businessman, following in his grandfather’s footsteps, and was primarily self-employed throughout his career. Bill was employed at Pitney Bowes and J.C. Penney as a salesperson and then decided he preferred self-employment, where he remained until his retirement. Bill owned and managed multiple businesses, which included three bicycle shops called the Bike Barn, was owner-operator of a trucking company, was the sole proprietor of a Der Weinerschnitzel franchise, was a self-employed real estate appraiser, was owner/manager of multiple apartment complexes, owned and managed Rolls Royce Pizza in Palmdale and Lancaster, Calif., and was broker and owner of Century 21 Real Estate in Gig Harbor, Wash. He was also a building contractor and land developer in both California and Pierce County, Wash. He built several homes in Edgewood, Wash., with his friend and business partner, Steve Brown. He purchased and developed real estate properties through his LLC, BBNW, Incorporated.

Bill was a long-standing member of Life Center Church in Tacoma and was active in the choir ministry for more than 20 years, singing bass in the annual Singing Christmas Tree and playing the role of Judas in the annual Easter musical program. For many years, he led the opening worship in the Motivators Sunday School class and was known for his weekly readings of “church jokes.” He loved boating, salmon fishing, backpacking and kayaking. He also loved watching the flight patterns of airplanes and birds from his living room window overlooking a greenbelt.

After his retirement, Bill married Kathy Broyles, whom he had met in the church choir in 1988 and was determined to pursue “if she ever became available again,” and they spent 12 happy years together. Bill was happiest when he was spending time with her, particularly when they traveled to their vacation penthouse in Cabo San Lucas.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Edward Brantley and Evelyn Burchett Brantley; his brother, Jack; and his sister, Barbara, whom he affectionately called “Babe.” He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; his children, Joanne Muller, of Big Bear, Calif., William Brantley Jr., of Las Vegas, Nev., JoLynne Brantley, of Garden Grove, Calif., and Pamela Clausen, of Golden Valley, Ariz. Between him and Kathy, there is a large extended family of 18 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, with one “on the way.”

A celebration of life memorial service will be held at Life Center Church, 1717 South Union Ave., Tacoma, Wash., at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 29, with a reception (lunch) following. Cremation was completed by Edwards Memorial of University Place, Wash. Bill will be memorialized at the Memorial Garden Wall at Life Center Church in Tacoma, Wash., and will be dearly missed by all who loved him.