Arthur Brannen Memorialized - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/18/05

Arthur Brannen Memorialized

Arthur Brannen Arthur Brannen

If you knew Arthur Brannen, you know our challenge, to briefly describe him to those who didn't know him. This quirky, loveable man, with his full white beard. Riding that old bicycle was just a way to get around. Marching to a different beat was the late Arthur Brannen.

Today his friends honored him with a special ceremony. Arthur received a full military ceremony by Parris Island Marines for his service during World War II. Those who knew him say everything Arthur did was a little out of the ordinary and made for a great story.

To know Arthur was to know one of his stories. "When you hear these stories, you can just see Arthur and that's Arthur," said Albert Hucks, a friend. "He did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it and he went where he wanted to go and didn't answer to anyone."

Today his friends gathered in the chapel at the Bethesda Home for Boys to pay their last respects. Arthur actually died a year ago on April 22 in Jacksonville, but because of the way he lived his life, many people didn't know about his death until recently.

Albert Hucks grew up with him at Bethesda and served in the Marines with him during World War II. He said Arthur loved to play the harmonica, but his music selection was sometimes a little off--playing Silent Night in the middle of July.

Fred O'Berry used to go fishing with Arthur, but they weren't always well prepared. "We had three biscuits a piece and a jar of mustard between us," he recalled of one occasion.

A few laughs and a few tears were shared, in memory of a man, a Savannah legend.

We asked O'Berry what he would say to people who didn't know Arthur. He replied simply, "They missed it."

Arthur was cremated in Jacksonville, but his friends plan to put a head stone for him in Bonaventure Cemetery.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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