Grant Bracewell

October 31st, 2021

Rev. R. Grant Bracewell 1928-2021

The family of Grant Bracewell is very sad to announce that he passed away at the age of 93 on October 31, 2021, at home in the Crescent Gardens Retirement Community in Surrey. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Murray, as well as two of his children, Bruce and Louise. He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Eleanor, his daughters Donna (David) and Maureen (Jean-Luc), his 10 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and a large and loving extended family and circle of friends. 

Born in Penticton, BC, in 1928, Grant lived a life of adventure and service. After completing his undergraduate degree, he spent a year and a half working as a purser on the Union Steamships which served remote coastal communities. After a year of medical school, Grant was called to the ministry, earned his Master of Theology, and was ordained as a United Church Minister in 1955. For the next 11 years, he served in the communities of Bella Coola, Merritt, and North Delta, BC. In 1967, he earned his Master of Library Science degree and the following year he became the first Theological Librarian at Emmanuel College (University of Toronto) and Coordinator of all the libraries of the Toronto Schools of Theology until his retirement in 1993.

He retired with his wife, Eleanor, to settle in South Surrey where they became very involved with the community at Crescent United Church, and he volunteered for many years at the United Church Archives. 

The ministry and academia were his two passions, and he served the United Church in various capacities throughout his life.  

A memorial service for family and close friends was held on November 10. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Peninsula United Church or the Red Cross. 



Eleanor< I did not know Grant well or for very long but I was struck each time of meeting the two of you together was the warm loving relationship you shared together. You shall always have that in your heart. Olive Lee, Peninsula United Church, Surrey BC

Dear Eleanor: One of my very special memories of Grant was listening to him read the Scriptures and also the Minute for Mission. He had a superb voice, not only for speaking but for singing. It was always a pleasure to chat with him. He was a wise person with a great sense of humour -- a wonderful combination. My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care.

Grant was always welcoming and helpful in the archives and warm in his conversations at church. I will miss him when I am able to return to in-person services.

Please accept my condolences. Grant was a very important member of the Vic/Emmanuel Library community and contributed much to the success of the TST (Toronto School of Theology) cooperative library service. He was a gentle, calm, and loyal presence, always willing to share his knowledge and mediate consultative solutions.

When I first went to the annual conference of ATLA (American Theological Library Association) in the early 1990s, Grant reached out to me, making me feel very welcomed and valued, even though I technically was not a theology librarian. We had many enjoyable conversations the next few years until his retirement. I am so thankful I had the privilege of knowing him. May God's peace and comfort sustain you during this time.

Dear Eleanor & family: I was so sad to read about Grant's passing in paper. You both have played a big part in our family through the years, especially at Camp Kwomais and the choir at Crescent. We will all miss his willing hand to help others in so many situations. A great man who left his positive mark wherever he gave of his time. May you all trust in your strong faith to comfort you and see you through the coming days. With deepest sympathy; David Proznick and family.

My dear Eleanor and family: It was a joy and privilege to share the Celebration of Grant's life. We will all miss his joy of life and sense of huimor. Know that you are all in my prayers. Blessings, Lorna

I was so sad to hear the news. I hope you can come and see me again sometime when you're able. My love always, God Bless. Virginia

Dear Eleanor and family, Our heartfelt condolences on Grant’s passing. He was a wonderful man and I’m sure will be missed by his family and friends. He would have touched the lives of many people over the years and his kindness will live on in them. It was lovely for me to remake both yours and Grant’s acquaintances after so many years. The little Trinity United Church in Merritt still soldiers on but most of our elders are now gone. With love and fond thoughts, Jenda and family

Hello - I wanted to let you know how helpful Grant was while completing an MDiv at Emmanuel 1974 - 1977. As a "mature" candidate and single parent, I needed help with library use, essay preparation and staying on track, which Grant most willingly and graciously provided. When we met again on this Coast in the late 1990s, and several times since, his welcome was as warm as ever. I shall miss him and his positivity, as I'm sure you will too. May God's blessings attend you all. Neill McRae

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