IN MEMORIAM: William Brace '41

William_BraceThe Rev. Canon William Shannon Brace, Class of 1941, died on March 15, 2014 following a brief illness at the age of 97. He was born on Sept. 22, 1916 in Homestead, Pennsylvania, the son of the Rev. Rodney S. and Mary S. Brace. He graduated from Hobart College, Geneva, New York in 1938; member of Sigma Chi Fraternity; before attending General. He also received a Masters in Sociology from Nova University in 1975.

He was ordained to the priesthood in Trinity Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina in 1942, where his first clerical duty was as a curate. His 40 years serving as a parish priest was spent in the southeast. He became rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Edgefield, South Carolina in 1943, while at the same time was priest-in-charge of Grace Church, Ridge Springs, and Church of Our Savior, Trenton, South Carolina. He established the Johnston Mission in 1946.

While serving in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, he served on the standing committee, executive council and was also a delegate to Provincial Synod. In 1948 Father Brace accepted a call to be the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Waycross with responsibilities also at St. Mary’s and Woodbine, Georgia. After nine years in Waycross, he became Rector of St. John’s Parish, Tampa, Florida until 1962, when he moved to All Saints Church, Ft. Lauderdale, where he retired in 1982.

He was a delegate to General Convention in 1955, 1970, and 1973, as well as an Honorary Canon of St. Luke’s Cathedral, Orlando and Trinity Cathedral, Miami. Bill met the love of his life, Amelia Hildebrand at Camp Kanuga, North Carolina, the summer after his second year of Seminary. They married in 1942 and celebrated 65 years together. In Sept of 2000, they moved to Jacksonville to be near family, and made many wonderful friends and enjoyed their later years at Cypress Village.

Brace loved well and was a well-loved priest, with a clever sense of humor and wit. He greatly enjoyed traveling the world and painting (his form of relaxation), as he served Christ throughout his lifetime. For about 20 working family vacations, he supplied for clergy in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Canada and several cruises.

Brace was preceded in death by his loving wife, Amelia as well as his parents and three siblings. He is survived by his son Rodney (Patricia), three granddaughters Shannon (Brandon) Dillard, Jennifer (Ryan) Johnson, and Leigh Anne (William) Milne and six great-grandchildren: Ava, Bryce and Rylee Dillard, Parker and Payton Johnson, and Caleb Milne.

The family wishes to express heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the Claire Bridge Assisted Living team, Cypress Village. A celebration of Brace’s life was held at Christ Episcopal Church on March 20 with the Rev. Rick Westbury celebrating. The family has posted an online Tribute at