William J. Brady
September 28, 1935 – March 24, 2022
VISITATION: Friday, April 1st from 5pm to 7pm, West Center Chapel. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, April 2nd at 10am, St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Canisius High School, 1180 Delaware Drive, Buffalo, NY 14209; or The Friends of Red Rock Canyon, www.friendsredrock.org.
William Joseph Brady, devoted husband and beloved father, passed away March 24 at the age of 86, leaving behind a lasting personal and professional legacy. Bill will of course always be remembered as the official ringleader of the true Brady Bunch – those five kids whom he loved, guided, challenged, and supported. He was also respected by colleagues and venerated by the countless young architects and engineers he mentored over his 46 years at Leo A Daly. But his story is truly defined by his 79-year commitment to the love of his life – Frances.
Bill was born in 1935 to William Thomas and Margaret Brady in Buffalo, NY. He attended Canisius High School and rowed for the West Side Rowing Club, displaying an early toughness by rowing regularly on the Niagara River. Bill’s father ran a parking garage in downtown Buffalo, where the likely too young Bill would help out, developing an ability to drive in reverse at 35 mph. A steady presence in his early years was the lovely Frances Fredelake; the two were good friends and eventually prom dates.
When Bill was contemplating his college choice, his father’s advice was simple: go to the hardest school you can get into. This is how Bill ended up studying mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also rowed crew (including a trip to Henley) and was a member of Theta Chi fraternity. After, as he so aptly put it, ”Four years, two summers and an act of God,” Bill graduated from MIT and went into the Air Force, primarily stationed at the Strategic Air Command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska. Bill and Fran, married in 1959, lived in Bellevue until he left the service as a captain, and they moved to Omaha.
Bill then embarked on his career at Leo A Daly, eventually retiring as a senior vice president. He became a licensed professional engineer in both mechanical and electrical engineering in multiple states. Bill was always ahead of the curve, being one of the first in the firm to push into computers, developing complex environmental systems, and he also became a leading expert on the placement of control towers at airports. But mostly, Bill was the guy you went to when a problem was too hard. Colleagues of his would tell you that they “learned a lot” from him. Projects like the Federal Triangle in Washington, DC, the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the First National Bank Tower in Omaha, and countless projects in Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and other far-flung locations, often with his dear friend Bob Ramsey.
Outside of the office Bill fully embraced the barely controlled chaos, as he and Fran raised five kids within seven years of one another. Activities were collective, from a completely non-competitive version of tennis, to crazy driving vacations and endless swim meets. He was even happy to have anyone come along on his nightly run through the neighborhood affectionately known as the “Brady Loop”. There were also kitchen adventures where Bill brought new food ideas back from his international travels to try at home, often for the obligatory Sunday dinner where all were welcome and accepted. Countless young people were blessed with his wisdom, good sense, strong opinions, and sharp wit. His children learned to be independent, resilient, and love one another deeply. In time the circle widened to include spouses and a bunch of grandchildren who adored their Bear.
It was his work that brought him the first time to Las Vegas, where he and Fran moved permanently in 2001. He loved the weather, the beauty of the hills where they lived outside of town, and his role as tour guide through the kitschiness of the Strip. He and Fran spent many happy years enjoying Vegas, traveling, visiting friends and family, and being together, just as they had since they were seven years old.
Bill is survived by his wife Frances, his five children, Michael (Suzanne Miller Brady), Kathleen (Herb Goede), Sharon (James Lowe), Ann, and Thomas (Shannon Brady), his brother Robert (Ann Brady), and seven grandchildren: Alison Brady, Lauren Brady, Greg Goede, William Lowe, Thomas Lowe, Trevor Brady, and Ashlyn Brady.
Bill and I worked together in the Omaha office of Leo A Daly for 20 years before he moved to Las Vegas. I will always respect Bill for his quiet intelligence. People often remarked after being in a meeting with Bill how quiet he was. I said it was because he was usually the smartest person in the room. I also had the privilege to work during those years with Bill’s dear friend, Bob Ramsey. Both of them were an inspiration for me and I admired their friendship to each other and to me. Rest In peace, Bill.
Beautiful tribute for a great man and a great family.