Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Charles Davisson Bragg of Williamsburg, Virginia, died in the early hours of September 17, 2022. He was 91 (born March 19, 1931) and living in Abingdon, Virginia, having just moved there following the death of his wife, Florence Elizabeth Courtney Bragg, less than two months prior.
Chuck and Beth grew up in Grafton, West Virginia, a community that began to thrive after the B&O Railroad laid its track through town and opened commercial transport and passenger service to points west. Chuck’s father, Lloyd H. Bragg, was an engineer for the B&O; Beth’s grandfather, William H. Courtney, was an engineer, too.
The youngest of seven children, Chuck graduated from Grafton High School in 1949, where he captained the Bearcat football team. He joined the Navy and finished first in his class at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. He remained a blue water sailor through the Korean War and, once discharged, enrolled at Alderson Broaddus College, WV. to earn his B.S. and married Beth Courtney. They moved to Oberlin, Ohio where he completed a M.S. in Education at the University of Akron. Chuck became a teacher. He first taught mathematics at Wellington High School in Ohio. He later taught at Oberlin Junior High School, and Lorain County Community College, also in Ohio. He also coached high school football and basketball.
The big shift in Chuck’s career came in 1969. He brought his family to Williamsburg, Virginia and began work as a guidance counselor at James Blair High School. Always actively interested in what the future held; Chuck oversaw the first Earth Day Celebration. In 1971, he joined the faculty at Thomas Nelson Community College to teach developmental mathematics. Thus began a distinguished and eventful 25-year tenure at Thomas Nelson, where Chuck served as both division chair and president of the Faculty Senate.
Political interests were ever present. Chuck cut his teeth on Democratic Party politics while growing up in West Virginia. (That was back when there were Democrats in West Virginia.) He was ready to move matters forward in Virginia, too. In 1985, Chuck was elected chairman of the James City County Democratic Committee. That commitment to making wise and workable public choices shaped Chuck’s life. He proved to be a powerful and constructive force at Thomas Nelson and, in the process, earned broad respect in his community and the region.
Chuck retired from Thomas Nelson Community College in 1996 and took Beth traveling. They wanted to see first-hand the wonders of Scotland, England, France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Greece, and Alaska. Other members of his family often came along. It was a happy adventure for everyone.
Chuck was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters: Anna Lee Clelland, Dora Mae Collier, Lloyd Bragg, Mary Skaggs, Norman Bragg, and Helen Shoemaker.
Chuck loved family the most. He is survived by his children and their spouses, Robert and Julia Bragg of Abingdon, Virginia, Linda and Gordon Morse of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Kathy Jo and Scott Steele of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, his grandchildren, Samuel Morse, Matthew Morse, Charlie Bragg, Nicholas Steele, and Caroline Steele, nieces and nephews, Pat Lannan, Herbert Clelland, Donna Innskeep, Jim Skaggs, Dan Bragg, and Dawn Barnes, and cousins by marriage, William and Nell Courtney and Sandra Courtney Poffenbarger.
The family would like to thank Commonwealth Senior Living of Abingdon, VA. for taking great care of him.
A private memorial gathering will be held at a later date and in lieu of flowers, the family asks friends and family to support their favorite charity or local Democratic Party.
Frost Funeral Home and Cremation Services is honored to serve the family of Mr. Charles Bragg.