Albert E. “Bert” Bragga, passed away on Sunday, December 9, 2018 after a long struggle with cancer. Bert was born in Ludlow on October 6, 1937, the son of the late Albert and Stella(Boulerice) Bragga, but spent the most of his life in West Springfield, where he became a police officer for almost 30 years. Before getting that job that he loved and was very good at, while still in high school, he joined the Army National Guard, worked at his uncle’s gas station and the H.R. Hunting Book Bindery, both in Springfield. He then worked as a sheet metalsmith (tin knockers) at Bradley Field in CT, and was a foreman at Mercer Paper Tube in Ludlow and even had his own gun smith company.
As a police officer he ran the ambulance, until it was rightly taken over by the fire dept., maintained all the police vehicles and finally became the firearms instructor and armorer and helped get the fire arms facility , which is named after him, “Al’s Alley” get off the ground. He joined the police dept. at the age of 31 in 1969, retiring in 1998 after losing an eye in a freak accident at the firing range.
Bert was a good and kind man who always treated everyone the way he himself wanted to be treated. His many interests were hunting, fishing, constructing and flying model airplanes and becoming somewhat of a master at making wooden toys for children, joining his wife in many craft shows in Boston, Woburn, Cape Cod, Vermont, New Hampshire, and for over 20 years the Big E. He also served a stint as president for the West Springfield Hockey Association for the boy’s ages 8-16 years, where his two boys, Anthony and Jay were goalies.
Bert was predeceased by his sister Linda Bragga and his beloved grandson Anthony E. Bragga Jr. He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Jane(Rebecchi)Bragga, his daughter Beth Bragga Williams and her husband Michael, son Anthony Sr. and his wife Tammy (Duris), and Jay and his wife Terri(Bailly), son Noah who has helped take so very good care of his father during his illness, his brother James, his three grandchildren Margaret, Joseph, and Dustin and his first great granddaughter Reese and her brother Ryder, as well as cousins, aunts, uncles and his cats Harry and Sally. He will be so missed by his family that he loved beyond awesome as they loved him. GENESIS 31:49. Calling hours for Bert will be Saturday, Dec 15th from 10:00AM-12:00PM, followed by a Funeral Home Service at 12:00PM at TOOMEY-O’BRIEN FUNERAL HOME, 1043 Westfield Street in West Springfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Bert’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Please visit www.toomeyobrien.com for more information.