Nickie Mondell Brazell (a.k.a., Nick, Dad, Pa Pa Nick) died Jan. 14, after a battle with cancer. He was 75.
Brazell was born Dec. 10, 1942, to Kenneth Wilson Brazell and Evelyn Marguerite (Carter) Brazell, in Romoland, California. He lived in Warrington, England, in his early years and traveled all over the United States, as his father served in the Armed forces. Eventually, the family settled in Amarillo, Texas, where Brazell served in the Army Reserves and attended college.
He began his career in the Nuclear Weapons Department at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, in the early 1970s. In September 1976, Brazell began working as a scientific associate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California and at Site 300’s test facility in Tracy, California. After retiring in 1996, he moved to Clarkston, Washington to be closer to his parents and then to Prescott Valley, Arizona.
Brazell was a resident of Tracy, California from 1980 to 1996 where he was active in the “The Clutch Burners” car club. His love for cars led to a lifelong hobby of meticulous work on street rods, as well as classic car restorations, winning him numerous awards. The Clutch Burners would most remember Brazell for his 1946 Studebaker pickup truck.
While in Tracy, Brazell was active in the Tracy Raiders Youth Football organization and was the head coach of the Tracy Raider J.V. Youth Football team from 1991 to 1994. He also was a very talented artist, photographer and singer. When Brazell was just 17 years old, he and two high school buddies formed a rock group called “The Satellites,” with Brazell as their front man. Back in their heyday of 1958 to 1960, the Satellites recorded three records with six songs on the charts, most notably, “Linda Jean” and “Rockateen.” The Satellites played up and down the Eastern Seaboard with billing at times over such acts as Fabian, Paul Anka, Bobby Rydell and even Elvis. The Satellites also performed on the television show, Dick Clark's “American Bandstand” and its competition “Hy-Lit.” He continued to sing with his church, both in Clarkston, Washington and Prescott Valley, Arizona.
Brazell is survived by his former wife, Nita Palmer of Amarillo, Texas, the mother of his daughters, Shannon Brazell Davis of Dallas, Texas and Paige Brazell Jackson and her husband, Brian Jackson, of Wylie, Texas. He also is survived by his former wife, Ranielle Boneza Brazell, mother of his son, Erick Christian Brazell, both living in Manteca, California.
He also leaves behind four grandchildren: Nicholas Bauer of Houston, Texas; Britton Brazell of Amarillo, Texas; Rachel Brazell-Davis of Austin, Texas; and Evan Brazell, of Manteca, California.
A celebration of life will be held at the Heights Church in Prescott, Arizona on March 10 at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Brazell's desire was for donations to be made to animal shelter adoption centers or to cancer research.