Joseph j. Brader, a World War II veteran and 70-plus year member of Tile, Marble & Terrazzo Setters Local 18, passed away on Aug. 2, 2023.
Brother Brader was the beloved husband of the late Betty J. Brader (nee Less); loving father of Dan and Mike (Stephanie) Brader; adoring grandfather of Ashley, Evan and Maddie Brader; dear brother of Norb and the late Bern and Louise; and dearest brother-in-law, uncle, great-uncle and friend to many.
Brother Brader grew up working in his father’s bowling alley. He joined the army in October 1943, left for England in May 1944 and eventually left for France and landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 (D-Day).
He served as a medical aid with the First Army, went through France and reached Belgium in September 1944. He made it to Aachen, Germany in October 1944 where he was involved in the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945.
Germany surrendered in May 1945 and Brother Brader was sent back to France and eventually back to the United States, where he was honorably discharged on Jan. 31, 1946.
He went back to work at his father’s bowling alley where he met Betty and they eventually married.
Brother Brader worked as a tile setter for Rock Hill Tile from 1948 until he retired in 1985.
He bowled and played golf with his retired buddies as often as possible.
He was also a frequent blood donor at the Red Cross, and became the first person to give blood 318 times.
Brother Brader and his son Mike went to Washington, D.C. on July 26, 2016 with the Honor Flight Society to visit the Veteran Memorials with several other veterans.
He and his son Dan went to France for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day at the invitation of the Veterans Back to Normandy sponsored by Valerie Gautier Cardin. He spent two weeks traveling around Normandy for the first time in 75 years. He attended ceremonies, lunches, dinners, and parades. He received the French Legion of Honor Award in Carentan France, June 5, 2019.
Shortly after he returned from his trip to France he wanted to get his knee replaced again and unfortunately the surgery didn’t go well and he became confined to his bed and a wheelchair. He spent his last couple of years in the Missouri Veterans Home in St. Louis, where he was treated with respect and kindness.
A funeral was held at Kutis Affton Chapel on Aug. 8, with interment at Resurrection Cemetery.