James Levert Bracken, Sr.
James “Jim” Levert Bracken, Sr. was the first of eight children born to Bert Bracken and Nellie Stone on February 5th, 1926, in Gibsland, Louisiana. He was the big brother to and surrounded by Joyce, Jackie, Walter, Eddie, Roy, Herbert, and Floyd. As a young man, Jim moved to Hoisington, Kansas to work on the railroad. His work eventually led him to Denver, Colorado.
While attending a school dance at Manual High School, he met Lillie Mae Sherman. They were married in 1947 and were the proud parents of Linda Darlene and James, Jr. Jim always said what a tremendous blessing it was to be married to the love of his life for 75 years! To God be the Glory!!
Jim proudly served in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged at the end of his tenure. By profession, Jim was a Supervisor with the City and County of Denver, retiring with over 30 years of service. Jim had a servant’s heart, and he did so with dignity and grace. After retiring, Jim decided he really wasn’t ready to retire so he began a new career as a Volunteers of America food driver…..for TWENTY more years.
Jim was an active member in his community serving in several clubs and organizations. He was best known for his role as a Past Potentate with the Shriners, Syrian Temple #49. One of his fondest memories as a Shriner was participating in local parades. He had the opportunity to show off his beautiful red Cadillac convertible or his grey Creighton collector vehicle, waving and tossing candy into the crowds. He was also heavily involved with the Astro Jets, and Owls Club. He will always be remembered around the neighborhood as “Diamond Jim-the man with admirable style and flash.” You could see his large diamond-studded jewelry from blocks away.
Jim and Lillie were major socialites and enjoyed many different activities. They enjoyed engaging in their family reunion events, participating in activities like modeling and DJing. They loved taking family cruise trips, tailgating the Denver Broncos games, spending every weekend at the Denver Flea Market hard bargaining consumers. Jim and Lillie were lifelong travelers. As mentioned, Jim and Lillie enjoyed cruising to various islands and not to disappoint, they would often show up dressed alike. James and Linda will remember their visits to California each year to visit family, drives through Redwood Forest, and spending the day at Disneyland. When the children were grown with families of their own, Jim invested in a campervan and he and Lillie traveled on the open road along with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It became the new tradition, planning one to two extended vacations per year, packing up the family and driving state-to-state stopping at scenic and historic landmarks along the way. Lillie was always behind the camcorder capturing every memorable moment.
Jim loved to dance and what a loving sight to watch he and Lillie disco! He loved western culture and would dress the part when taking his grandchildren to the annual Denver Stock Show and Bill Pickett Rodeo to watch bull riding and cattle drives. Jim loved sharing the true love story of he and Lillie for 75 years. He loved his family deeply and worked hard to provide lasting experiences, memories, and opportunities. He was always willing to be a source of support and was always a man of his word. Jim will be greatly missed by all who had the honor of knowing him.
Jim is preceded by his parents, Bert Bracken and Nellie Stone, and his siblings Joyce Norwood, Jackie, Walter, Eddie, Roy, Floyd and Herbert Bracken. Those left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife of 75 years Lillie Sherman Bracken; children, Linda Bracken-Aggers and James Levert Bracken, Jr.; his grandchildren, George (Michelle) Goodall, Rodrick Bracken, Gina (Manuel) Guerra, Michael Bracken, Brittney Bracken-Bentford, Lauryn Bracken, Paula Boykin; his great-grandchildren, Brianna “Breezy” Groves, Michael “Mikey” Groves, Mikal Goodall, Madison Goodall, Xander Bentford, Celeste Mowrer, and Justus Brakhop; and a host of numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.