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Larry Bracken, 78, passed away peacefully at home on July 3, 2022. Larry was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas to the late Joyce Bracken of Fort Smith, AR and Herbert Johnson of Fort Pierce, FL. Larry attended Harvard University and Arkansas Tech University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and later attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he received his Master of Arts in Journalism. In 1966, Larry joined the Peace Corps and served until 1968 in Truk in the South Pacific, followed by an additional two years where he coordinated support for 25 elementary schools across 23 islands. Larry returned to Arkansas where he met his future wife, the late Ellen Bracken. Larry, Ellen, and their daughter Mary Margaret moved to American Samoa for four years where he worked for the Office of the Governor. The family returned to Arkansas along with their newborn son, Quentin, where Larry worked as the Assistant to the President for Public Relations at Garland County Community College. In 1983, Larry and the family moved to Gulf Breeze, Florida, where Larry served as the Director of College Advancement for Pensacola Junior College. In 1995, Larry became the Executive Director of Government Relations where he was responsible for all government relations at the federal, state, and local levels. In 2011, Ellen passed away after a lengthy illness and Larry retired from Pensacola State College. In 2012 Larry married Diane Baxter where they continued to live together in Gulf Breeze, FL. Together they traveled to New York, Paris, Key West, Seattle, and Dallas.
Larry was an active volunteer, organizer, and a passionate leader for many different organizations supporting public education including the Florida Community College Lobbyists, the Florida Chapter of the American Arthritis Foundation, the Florida Association of Community Colleges, the Board of Adjustments for the City of Gulf Breeze, the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce, the Pensacola Press Club, the Sacred Heart Hospital Foundation Board of Governors, the President and Board Member of the Willowood Home Owner’s Association, and the President of the Gulf Breeze High School Band Boosters. Larry also volunteered for several Democratic candidates over the years including DeeDee Ritchie, Buzz Ritchie, and Governor Bill Clinton.
All of his life Larry had a deep love of music and its power to affect hearts and minds. He was always ready to pick up his guitar and banjo and share music and a scotch with friends. Larry was an avid reader of history and consumer of news from around the country. Larry touched many lives and was loved by family, friends, and neighbors.
Larry is survived by his wife Diane Bracken and her son Matthew Baxter, his daughter Mary Margaret Eigenbrodt (Stan) and their children William and Annie of Richardson, TX, son Quentin Bracken and his children Sakura and Logan of Seattle, WA, his brothers John Bracken (Terry) Rick Bracken (Sherry) and Scott Bracken and preceded in death by his sister Sara Sivley, his siblings all lifelong residents of Fort Smith, AR.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family has established the Larry Bracken Endowed Scholarship for Journalism at Pensacola State College.
The family plans a private service.
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