Henry “Hank”, “Buddy” Joseph DeBrakeleer - age: 91
(August 21, 1927 to August 30, 2018
Hank’s family wish to extend sincere gratitude to Henrietta, Betty, and the staff of Hospice of Southern Maine and the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House.
Hank’s life will be privately celebrated.
Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home and Cremation 365 Main St, Saco are entrusted with his services
Henry (“Hank”, “Buddy”) Joseph DeBrakeleer passed away, of natural causes, Thursday, August 30, 2018, 9 days after his 91st birthday. During his last few days he was tenderly cared for at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, Maine. Prior to that, Hank resided with his daughter in Biddeford, Maine. His home (which he nicknamed “No View”) was in Harrison, Maine.
Hank was born August 21, 1927 in Joffree, Pennsylvania to Arthur DeBrakeleer and Marie L. (Cenis) DeBrakeleer. He graduated from the Spartan College of Aeronautical Engineering in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1950. Hank went on to work primarily on projects for Avco and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, using his engineering expertise with the Mercury Space Flight missions and development of thermal shields for the lunar module, as well as many other specialized projects.
On September 17, 1960 Hank married Jean Alice (Duguid) Burden at her parents’ home in Andover, Massachusetts. On September 29, 1961 Hank became the father of twin babies Dale and Betsy. Hank and Jean resided first in North Salem, New Hampshire, later moving to the home they designed and had constructed in Londonderry, New Hampshire.
Hank was an avid outdoorsman, especially enjoying hunting, at times with his son Kevin, and hiking and backpacking in the White Mountains frequently with his daughter. He enjoyed all seasons and loved downhill skiing often with the accompaniment of his daughter, ice skating, hot air ballooning, golfing, canoeing, kayaking, and slow cruising on his pontoon boat on Long Lake. Hank also appreciated contemplative times at Plum Island Beach and Pawtuckaway Lake, relishing sunsets and preferring the company of his family, close friends, and his Brittany Spaniel hunting dogs. Hank valued time spent with Jean, chaufferring her on driving tours seeking New England antiques and historic homes as well as viewing the White Mountains’ fall foliage. He was extremely proud of his grandson and enjoyed participating in Shane’s life and observing the construction of his home. During football season Hank would cheer first for the Pittsburgh Steelers, secondarily for the New England Patriots.
Hank is predeceased 40 years by his wife Jean, 57 years by his son Dale, 34 years by his father and 59 years by his mother, and 1 year by his good friend Audrey Pooles.
Hank is survived by his daughter, Betsy (Belanger) DeBrakeleer of Biddeford, Maine, his adopted son, Kevin DeBrakeleer of Spigener, Louisiana, and his grandson, Shane Leon Belanger of Biddeford, Maine. Also surviving Hank are his sister, Patricia Smith of Canfield, Ohio and his beloved niece and nephews Paula Nolker, Scott Granger, and Ross Granger of Leetonia, Ohio, North Lima, Ohio, and Centerville, Pennsylvania, respectfully. Hank is also remembered by his grand- nieces and nephews.