Bracy Alvus Bledsoe of Brenham, a longtime Texas Baptist pastor, died Jan. 6. He was 100 years old. He was born Nov. 5, 1917, to Andy Walker Bledsoe and Ida Venable Bledsoe at Ten Mile, near Normangee. He and his twin brother, Tracy Altus, were the sixth and seventh of 11 children. After he graduated from Normangee High School, he moved to Tyler and worked three years to earn enough money to enroll in Baylor University in Waco and pursue a degree in biblical studies to prepare for the pastorate. At Baylor, he met his wife of 55 years, Addie B. Gilliam, and they married Aug. 16, 1942. He interrupted his senior year at Baylor to enter military service in World War II. He was trained as a paratrooper and served in the Pacific, primarily in Luzon and The Philippine Islands. In February 1945, he was on a mission as a connecting scout, delivering messages between units, when he was wounded. He received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. Returning to Texas after the war, he began 35 consecutive years as pastor of churches throughout Central Texas—Friendship Baptist Church in Waco, First Baptist Church in Chilton, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Corsicana, Immanuel Baptist Church in Temple, First Baptist Church in Dripping Springs, Ridgetop Baptist Church in Austin and First Baptist Church in Buda. After retiring from the full-time pastorate, he continued to serve another 13 years as a supply preacher or interim pastor for Austin-area churches until he retired again in 1994 to care for his ailing wife, who died in 1998. He relocated to Brenham to be near his children and was involved many years at First Baptist Church there. In 1995, he received recognition for his years of Christian service from Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary. He was preceded in death by nine sisters and brothers, as well as his wife. He is survived by his daughter Martha Annette Haydon and her husband, Robert; his son, Timothy Joe Bledsoe; two grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his brother, Jerry Wayne Bledsoe and his wife, Faye.
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