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William Bracey, commissioner of revenue, dies at 76

South Boston News
William N. Bracey
SoVaNow.com / October 03, 2012
“An institution in Mecklenburg County government. He served … and ate, slept and lived Mecklenburg,” said Commissioner of Revenue Ed Taylor, remembering his predecessor, William N. “Billy Nick” Bracey, who died Tuesday at age 76.

Bracey served as Mecklenburg County’s Commissioner of Revenue for 28 years. He retired some five years ago, in part due to health reasons — he’d been diagnosed with leukemia.

Bracey, part of a longstanding group of constitutional officers at the Courthouse who provided steady guidance on fiscal matters to the Board of Supervisors and others, was also an innovator, said Taylor. “Our office went through tremendous change during his years of service and he always wanted to take advantage of technology to help us work smarter and more accurately,” he said.

Local attorneys regularly complimented Bracey on the accuracy of his tax maps and records.

Circuit Court Clerk Gene Coleman, who knew Bracey for more than 30 years, remembered his late colleague as a trusted advisor to many in county government, both appointed and elected. “He always wanted to do what was right. You could take his advice to the bank.”

Coleman also called him a “wonderful friend and colleague. I enjoyed my years working with him. He was just a wonderful person.”

Bracey’s dedication to Mecklenburg County did not end with his retirement, added Taylor: “After Billy Nick retired and I was elected, I contacted him on several occasions with questions on technical issues and he was always willing to help in any way he could. He would stop what he was doing to help you and even offered to come to Boydton if we needed him. That was Billy Nick.”

In addition to serving as Commissioner of Revenue, Bracey was a licensed funeral director for 15 years with the former Crew Funeral Home. He was also a U.S. Army veteran and a member of the American Legion Post #79 and South Hill Moose Lodge.

Bracey is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara Moss Bracey, their son Michael and his wife Sandi.

His passing was summed up by Taylor: “Mecklenburg has lost one of its cornerstones, but most of all we have lost a dear friend. Our office sends our deepest sympathy to his wife Barbara, son Mike, granddaughters, Jami and Nicole and the entire Bracey family.”

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