Thomas E. Bracken, 88, NLRB judge, arbitrator

December 31, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Thomas Edward Bracken, a retired National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge, died of stroke complications Monday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The North Baltimore resident was 88.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Charles Village, Mr. Bracken was a 1932 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School, where he played football and was named to the Maryland Scholastic Association high school team. He earned a bachelor's degree at Loyola College, where he played baseball and was selected as catcher on the 1935 All-Maryland college baseball team.

He later played for the Homestead semipro baseball club based in Waverly and in 1999 was inducted into the Old-Timers' Baseball Association Hall of Fame.

After working for Electro-Motor Corp. building diesel locomotive engines in Chicago, Mr. Bracken served in the Navy as a gunnery officer aboard the fleet tug USS Tolowa, which saw action in the Philippines and Okinawa campaigns of World War II.

He was one of five brothers in military service during the war, and four of them met one day at Leyte Gulf.

After the war, he earned a law degree from the University of Maryland, passed the Maryland bar in 1950 and began a practice that focused on labor cases. Among his clients were the Teamsters and building-trades unions.

In 1957 he became a partner in Callegary and Callegary, and in 1962 he co-founded Bracken and Abato.

He became a National Labor Relations Board judge in 1975. After retiring in 1987, he became an arbitrator for five years with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Mr. Bracken was a founder of the St. Thomas More Society of Maryland and a past president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Emerald Isle Club, the Roman Catholic Serra Club of Baltimore and the Baltimore Council of the Navy League.

He was grand marshal of Baltimore's 1995 St. Patrick's Day Parade.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, the former Adeline Ogier; two sons, Joseph M. Bracken of Falls Church, Va., and Matthew J. Bracken of San Diego; seven daughters, Mary B. Neale, Jane B. Mace and Cornelia Shockley, all of Baltimore, Teresa B. Fromme of Burtonsville, Clare B. Strange of Christchurch, New Zealand, Elizabeth Elliott of Wilton, Conn., and Patricia Forman of Suffolk, Va.; two sisters, Eileen Caslow of Baltimore and Kathleen Bedard of Silver Spring; two brothers, William Jerome Bracken of Baltimore and Eugene E. Bracken of Virginia Beach, Va.; and 20 grandchildren. A daughter, Barbara McDonnell, died in 1992.

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