Fred Brammer

Obituary of Fred Camp Brammer

Fred Camp Brammer 10/22/1927 - 02/14/2021 He left us too soon… Fred Camp Brammer, our beloved patriarch, passed from this world on February 14, 2021 to the loving arms of those who passed before. To the arms of his love and life partner, Patricia and to his beloved son Billy, to his much missed brother Bill and to his parents William H. Brammer and Isabel Camp Brammer, he was folded into their care. Born October 22, 1927 in Trenton, New Jersey, Fred was William and Isabel's second and youngest child. His father played and composed organ music for Bethany Presbyterian Church in Trenton, NJ, where Fred's love of music began. His love of music was a gift that flowed throughout his lifetime and lives on in all of his children. He was the leader of our band. Another of Dad's passions was gardening, which helped during the lean times of his family's early history. He then continued that passion while "growing" his own family... feeding our bellies and teaching us how to cultivate and care for the earth. Fred's education was interrupted by World War II. He was drafted a few years after his brother Bill, but Fred's tenure in the Army was short lived. Bill was unfortunately killed in action at the siege of Aachen in '44, and Fred was sent home as the Sole Survivor Law had been enacted. The early loss of his brother and his own survivor's guilt made it difficult for Dad to talk about his brother and the war. Trenton High School prepared Fred for Drexel Junior College. He then went on to Lafayette College to earn his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. During a break from Lafayette, Dad met Mom in Trenton, NJ. Completely smitten, Dad would borrow the family car to pursue the love of his life, who was attending Wells College in Ithaca, NY. Shortly after graduation, they got married in New York City. Not long after marriage, Fred started his 37 year career with IBM. The family moved from New Jersey to the Hudson Valley in the mid '50s, to the then booming industrial park of IBM in Kingston, NY. As a project engineer Fred contributed to many IBM inventions, one of which was the early development of laser technology. He mused about his recent laser eye surgery, marveling at how this technology has progressed from the imprecise science he worked on, to what it has become today. Fred also played a crucial role in developing a semi-automated test system that maintained IBM AN/FSQ-7 computers that ran the Sage Air Defense System; NORAD's strategic radar perimeter, monitoring for Soviet air attacks. Eventually working his way to management, Fred ended his career responsible for teams that built IBM mainframe computers. In his leisure time, Dad wore many different hats; general contractor, mechanic, inventor, driving instructor, conductor, gardener, referee and travel guide. He oversaw the finishing of their home in Red Hook, which they lived in for 61 years. He was the first in the neighborhood to have hot water from his home-made solar heated water coil. Always thinking and troubleshooting, Dad wanted to pass on these skills to his kids. He taught us to fix brakes, change plugs, patch radiators and mufflers, fix washing machines and any other widgets that he could educate us about. He was the consummate inventor and educator that loved getting his hands greasy with us. Often, these educational adventures would happen during our frequent car breakdowns while on cross country camping trips. At one point he had us all chewing gum so he could plug a punctured radiator and limp along to the nearest town! Dad shared his love of the outdoors, taking us camping, canoeing, teaching survival techniques and traveling. In retirement, he and Mom continued glamping the USA and Canada for many more years in a 27' fifth wheel camper. They also continued their European travels to Italy, the United Kingdom and Greece. He had a wonderful sense of adventure and re-lived his experiences with great fondness. As well as being devoted to his family, Fred was devoted to his church, faith, and community. He was the choir director of the United Methodist Church of Red Hook for 30 years. He served on many boards, such as Pastor Parish Relations, the Food Pantry, the Building and Worship Committees. He helped promote and support the Crop Walk. The Ecumenical Community of Red Hook also benefited from Fred's devotion to his community; this resulted in gathering multiple faiths and beliefs under one roof in service for many years. He was also a mentor for the Ulster Literacy program, where he taught and supported others learning English, believing education was a way to improve one's life. The Ulster Choral Society and the Camerata Chorale were passions of his, a favorite activity and a chance for him to participate in making music. Fred joyfully shared his wonderful tenor voice for many years. We all groaned at Dad's "punny" jokes. He loved a good, quick comeback to his often witty puns. We all shared in the laughter, but Dad's laughter was music. Fred leaves behind 6 adoring and grateful children (Nancy, Tom, Karen, Linda, Bruce and David), their significant others, 7 grandchildren, two great grandchildren and one very sad, lonely puppy. We will forever hold in our hearts your love of family, sense of justice, a curiosity for learning and wonder of our natural world. You were an educator of life, encouraging us to make our memories now and not wait. This past year, you would frequently say, "What did I do to get so lucky?" Well, Dad… what did WE do to be so lucky to have you as the leader of our band? Fred's memorial service will be held June 19th, 1:00 pm at the United Methodist Church in Red Hook, NY. Because of Covid restrictions there will be limited seating and masks must be worn. Please send an email to to reserve a seat or to ask about an online live feed to the service. Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes 7461 S. Broadway, Red Hook, NY. For directions, or to sign the online guest book, please visit
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Memorial Service

1:00 pm
Saturday, June 19, 2021
United Methodist Church Of Red Hook
4 Church Street
Red Hook, New York, United States
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