George Bragg Sr. remembers the times he took his son, George Bragg Jr., hunting. The younger Bragg couldn’t even walk, but that didn’t stop Dad.
“He liked to deer hunt with his dad,” George Sr. said. “Until last year, it was an every year thing. I carried him in diapers in the woods on my back. I started him out young; he got the bug.”
George Jr. enjoyed that time in the woods, but never branched out on his own.
“Always with Daddy,” George Sr. beamed.
But that wasn’t his favorite sport. By and far, that distinction belonged to golf.
George Jr. played golf any chance he got. And he loved when July rolled around so he could play in the BNI Golf Tournament with his friends.
Two months ago, George passed away at the young age of 43 after a two-year battle with liver cancer. To remember what has become a familiar name in BNI circles, the 37th annual BNI Golf Tournament will honor George Bragg July 29-31.
George Sr. said he was “thrilled” when he learned of the tournament committee’s plan to honor his son. George’s mom, Karen, said she cried.
“He absolutely loved golf,” George Sr. said. “That, and West Virginia football. They lost one of the best fans they ever had.
“He brought trophies home, and he was really proud of them.”
George’s last job was in maintenance on the Stonehaven Course at The Resort at Glade Springs. That course will make its debut as a BNI site July 30 when golfers tee off there for the second round.
But at the age of 41, George was diagnosed with liver cancer. Other complications, including diabetes and COPD, took their toll on him.
In late April of this year, George was rushed to the hospital and actually died before being resuscitated.
“After that, he went into a coma,” Karen said. “They took an MRI and said he was brain dead. He lived about a week.”
On May 4, at Bowers Hospice House in Beckley, George passed away with his family by his side.
“He passed in my hands,” a tearful George Sr. said.
“He was never one to complain. He would hide stuff from me and her.
“I was sure glad I went with him that day.”
“They gave him 18 months to live,” Karen said, “and he lived a little over two years. … We knew it was going to happen, but when it did happen it happened so fast.”
George Sr. was especially sure to express his gratitude for Raleigh…