COOPERSTOWN – Dick Bratton, retired Air Force civil engineer, legendary hiking trails builder and long-time Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, civic leader died on February 18, 2021, at the age of 84. He was born in Winchester, Kentucky, but spent the majority of his early years in Cooperstown, NY.
Dick graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, earning a degree in architecture. After graduation, he enlisted in the USAF and spent twenty-two years using his engineering expertise in various projects around the globe. Following his military retirement, he settled in the small mountain town of Green Mountain Falls, where he left an indelible mark through his service in local and regional government. He served two terms as Mayor and spent over thirty years in leadership and participation on numerous committees. He spent untold hours volunteering his time, wrote several successful grants for the benefit of the town, and was a generous benefactor.
Dick was an avid hiker and accomplished downhill ski racer. He was active for many years in community theatre in the Colorado Springs area, lending his booming baritone to lead roles in numerous productions.
Perhaps his most impactful legacy is in relation to the building and maintenance of hiking trails, locally, regionally and nationally. His gift for recruiting volunteers resulted in the design and building of many trails for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike, all at no cost to the taxpayer. On a broader level, he served on the Colorado State Trails Committee and served as the Colorado coordinator for the American Discovery Trail. The overwhelming community response to Dick’s passing has been an outpouring of shared stories and warm thoughts, honoring a man who will be remembered for his dignity and selflessness. His giving continued to the end, as the night before he died, he participated in a fire mitigation meeting, a group formed at his urging.
Survivors include: Sister, Jill Bratton Brauss (Rich) of Dewey, AZ, Niece, Susan Lynn Silveira (Frank) of San Jose, CA, Niece, Sally Anne Brauss and daughters, Emily Marie Hull and Abby Louise Hull, all of Bozeman, MT and Niece, Laurie Kristen Brauss Evans (Barcus) of Seattle, WA.
Celebration of Life will be Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 1:00 p.m., Church In The Wildwood, Green Mountain Falls, CO. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Bratton Trails Fund, online at https://www.ppcf.org/donate, by clicking “Give” under Bratton Trails Fund or checks may be sent to Rocco Blasi, BTF, PO Box 194, Green Mountain Falls, CO, 80819 payable to PPCF, memo “For Bratton Trails Fund.”