David A. Bramble, 85, construction executive

March 02, 2004

David A. Bramble, a founder and former president of a Kent County construction company, died of congestive heart failure Friday at Chester River Medical Center. The Tolchester resident was 85.

Mr. Bramble was born and raised in the community of Fairlee and graduated in 1934 from Kent County High School. He drove a truck before enlisting in the Army Air Forces in 1941.

After completing pilot's training, he was assigned to the 8th Air Force in England. He flew 25 combat missions, including a raid over Berlin, aboard B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters.

He returned to the Eastern Shore and in 1947 established a construction company in Fairlee that specialized in building roads. Incorporated in 1959 as David A. Bramble Co., the business later moved to Chestertown.

"The company is one of the largest employers in Kent County, employing more than 250 workers per year. It has grown from a local operation and now performs work throughout the Eastern Shore and Delaware," said a son, Mark M. Bramble, a New York theatrical director, writer and manager.

In 1971, Mr. Bramble joined with another of his sons, Alan S. Bramble, in building the Tolchester Marina on the site of the old Tolchester Amusement Park, a popular day-trip destination by excursion steamers until the opening of the Bay Bridge in 1952.

Mr. Bramble was given numerous awards for the quality of his work, and recognition by the State of Maryland for his efforts in hiring the physically disabled.

During the 1990s, another son, David C. Bramble, took over the business. The elder Bramble retired in 1998 but continued to visit the Chestertown office.

Mr. Bramble had numerous philanthropic interests and in 1996 established the David A. Bramble Foundation -- dedicated to assisting charitable, educational and religious organizations in Kent County.

He was a communicant and former vestryman of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestertown, where services will be held at 11 a.m. today.

In addition to his three sons, Mr. Bramble is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Margaret "Marnee" Kintner; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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