Arthur J. Brett, Social Security official

August 27, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Arthur J. Brett, a retired Social Security Administration official who was active in veterans affairs, died Thursday of cirrhosis at his Mount Airy home. He was 76.

Mr. Brett was born and raised in Milwaukee, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Marquette University in 1953.

He served in the Army during the Korean War and remained an active reservist, attaining the rank of lieutenant.

He went to work for the SSA in 1958 and was transferred to headquarters at Woodlawn in 1964.

In 1972, through an agreement between the two agencies, he was transferred to the State Department's Foreign Service, where he was given the diplomatic rank of counsel.

Mr. Brett was sent to the American Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany, where he established and conducted several Social Security Administration and other federal benefit-paying programs at U.S. embassies and consulates in Europe.

He returned to SSA headquarters and was a senior foreign analyst at his 1987 retirement.

Mr. Brett was a member of the American Legion for 55 years and had served two terms as commander of the American Legion Gold Star Post 191 in Mount Airy. He also had held many posts on the state level.

A hiker, he had been a member of the Piedmont Pacers Volksmarch Club and the Mount Airy Historical Society.

He enjoyed collecting stamps and coins, and was a Civil War buff.

Mr. Brett was a member of the Knights of Columbus and was a communicant of St. Michael Poplar Springs Roman Catholic Church in Mount Airy, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.

Surviving are his wife of 55 years, the former Mary Jane Schuster; three daughters, Mary L. Bare of Westminster, Jeanne M. Vaccarino of Sykesville and Michelle P. DiGesare of Franklinville, N.Y.; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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