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“Coach” Emil Walter Brase, age 99, of Jackson passed away Thursday, June 28, 2018 at the Monticello House in Jackson.
Coach Brase was born Feb. 25, 1919, the middle of seven children, in the log house in Gordonville owned by his parents, Albert and Matilda “Tillie” Hoffman Brase.
He attended Dutchtown and Benton, Missouri, elementary schools and Gordonville and Clarkton, Missouri, high schools, graduating from College High Prep in Cape Girardeau, which had drafted him to play basketball.
He met his future wife, Evelyn Lowes, at a Memorial Day picnic in 1939. They were engaged in September 1942 and married on Emil’s 24th birthday the following year at New McKendree United Methodist Church in Jackson.
He entered Southeast Missouri State College in 1938 and was able to start teaching two years later (at Allenville and Perkins, Missouri) with just 60 college hours under his belt.
He also worked the family farm during the early years of World War II until he was called into service in September 1944. He trained at Great Lakes Naval and San Francisco, eventually deploying from San Diego on the USS Biloxi. The war ended while he was in Hawaii, but he was deployed to Okinawa to serve as a mine sweeper on the USS Henry A. Wiley. While in Shanghai, he was invited to teach at Delta High School upon his return in 1946, where enjoyed great success as a basketball coach
Emil and Evelyn built their home in 1952, next door to Evelyn’s parents, with whom they’d been living after the war. Both had been teaching with only 60 hours of college credit, and each finally received a bachelor of science in education from Southeast Missouri State in 1954. Emil later received his master’s degree.
Emil and Evelyn taught in the Jackson school system starting in 1955, where Emil instituted an annual spring physical fitness festival for elementary students and among other things, coached backetball. Evelyn retired in 1986, followed by Emil in 1988, after which he continued to coach middle school girls’ basketball at St. Paul Lutheran. He finally retired his coaching hat for good in 2003.
Emil was a member of Gordonville’s Zion Methodist Church during his youth, joining New McKendree United Methodist Church upon his marriage. He was a charter member and president of the local United Methodist Men and taught sixth-grade Sunday school for many years.
Emil was a member of the American Legion Post in Jackson, and he was appointed commander of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, where he served as chaplain for many years, except for the two years he spent caring for Evelyn until her death in 2010.
Their only child, John Brase, was adopted in the summer of 1957. He lives in St. Louis.
Other loving survivors include a sister-in-law, Melba Brase of Cape Girardeau and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of almost 68 years, Evelyn Lorraine Lowes Brase, three brothers and three sisters.
Visitation will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, 2018 at the chapel of McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson, and from 9:30 a.m. until service time Monday, July 2, 2018 at New McKendree United Methodist Church. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at the church with the Rev. Jimmie Corbin officiating.
Interment will be in Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson.
Memorials may be given to Cox Memorial Scholarship Fund, payable to New McKendree UMC or to Jackson R-II School District Foundation.
Cox Memorial Scholarship Fund
C/O New McKendree United Methodist Church, 225 S High St., Jackson MO 63755
Jackson R-II School District Foundation
614 E Adams, Jackson MO 63755