Billy K. Brannock
World War II veteran
Billy K. Brannock, widower of Carol Jean Brannock, passed away Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.
Billy dedicated his entire life to the betterment of others. His formidable skills, intelligence and passion for service were cultivated by the education he received at Georgetown College. Moreover, this very dedication to the incubator of his highest Self has led him to support Georgetown College for over 70 years. At the age of 18, he left his home for the unknowns of a war-ravaged Europe. He volunteered to be a scout and his bravery got him through the barbarity of the Ardennes Forest and a survivor the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged with three bronze stars, a Good Conduct Medal and a profoundly altered understanding of humanity. Having lived through one of the most brutal battles in history as well as a lethally bitter winter, Billy was scarred not only by the suffering and carnage he witnessed, but by the crushing feeling of guilt that he survived while equally good men did not. How he processed that survivor’s guilt is something everyone should know: He vowed to God that he would repay his gift of life by serving his children in every way he possibly could. And for over 70 years, that is exactly what Billy Brannock did. In Louisville he shone as a true education pioneer. In the troubled waters of racial strife in the early 1960s, he took on inner city kids that others had counted out. He created a highly effective disciplinary program and created a dropout program in Jefferson County schools that has been a model used ever since. His daughter, Leean Gillbrannock, was privy to the brain and soul of an obsessed altruist. Many former students sought out Billy to thank him for believing in them. His conversations and points of view always had one common theme: How to make life better for others and cultivate the good in whomever he came in contact with. Even as he and his late wife, Carol Jean Brannock, battled dire health issues, they always stopped to consider how other people must struggle with less resources than they have. That directive has been truly made more poignant, made truly Divine, as he nurtured Carol through her final days. Billy is survived by his daughter, Leean Gillbrannock, Louisville; and his sister, Bobbye Ann Hudson. Services are private. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Gathering Place Mission, 339 Bourbon St, Georgetown, KY 40324. www.johnsonsfuneralhome.com — as shared and written by his daughter, Leean Gillbrannock.