Louis “Chester” Brazzell’s stay in Augusta was short, only about 33 months, but city officials recalled the deputy administrator as steady, meticulous and thoughtful at a celebration of his life Thursday.
Brazzell, 63, died unexpectedly at his home Dec. 28, possibly from a fall, but autopsy results are pending.
City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson said Brazzell had been a rock in the office, able to make decisions in her absence with whatever “thoughtfulness we needed at that time.” He was a “big brother” willing to “help you become a better person” who also asked her, during his interview, if she’d allow him “to shine” on the job, Jackson said.
Brazzell stood behind her and rose to any challenge, such as identifying a new location for Augusta’s new transit maintenance and administration building, she said.
“Chester would prove time and again that he did have my back,” Jackson said.
Augusta Public Transit Director Patrick Stephens recalled Brazzell challenging him on the bus building project, which involved nearly all city departments and was unlike any Stephens said he’d ever done.
After officials broke ground on the building in November, “he looked at me and said, ‘We did it, Pat,’” Stephens said. “We will miss his guidance. Yes, Chester, we did it.”
Fellow Kappa Alpha Psi brother Henry Ingram stood with two other fraternity members to wish the “silent, gentle giant” that was Brazzell to the “chapter invisible.”
Originally from Alabama, Brazzell was in the administration of former Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson for seven years. He was later a deputy administrator in Chatham County, Ga., aiding Savannah’s role as host of water sports for the 1996 Olympic games, according to a city biographical sketch.
Brazzell also spent 10 years as vice president of a biotech company engaged in organ and tissue donation and research, turning a $110 million venture into a $200 million organization, before joining Augusta government in April 2015.
Turner Funeral Chapel in Atmore, Ala., is handling funeral arrangements.