On Sunday morning, Jan. 23, 2022, while a patient at the Manor House in Seaford, Sussex County lost one of its most loyal and devoted citizens, George A. Bramhall, Sr. after an illness of two months. George, the husband of Suzanna Robinson Bramhall, celebrated his 46th wedding anniversary in his hospital room with his “bride” by his side and his treasured anniversary card recycled for the 16th time on his bedside table.

George, a retired Sussex County attorney, the son of the late Judge Howard W. Bramhall and Margaret Townsend Bramhall, was born in Salisbury Hospital on Aug. 1, 1932. He attended Georgetown High School through the eighth grade and was a member of its junior varsity football team. However, he left GHS at the beginning of the ninth grade and enrolled in Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, PA from which he graduated in 1950. George spent the summers of his youth at the family beach house in Bethany Beach and worked as a lifeguard at that resort for four or five years, prior to entering the University of Delaware in 1950. George joined the Sigma Nu Fraternity his first year at Delaware; he was a member of the college gymnastic team on the parallel bars and had fond memories of once performing with the professional gymnastic team, The Three Little Bakers.

George exchanged college classes for army life in his junior year at the university, during the Korean Crisis. He served in the U.S. Army in Counter-Intelligence Corps in Baltimore, in the 101st Airborn Div. at Ft. Jackson, SC, Special Services at Ft. Dix, NJ. He was honorably discharged in 1957. While in the Army, George learned that he could take courses to complete his college degree and earn a law degree as well. So, in 1961 he graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, followed a few hours later, with a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Temple School of Law. He was Associate Editor of the Temple Law Review in 1959, 60 and 61, and became a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity in 1959.  

It was at Ft. Dix that he met his future wife, LaDonna Gulbruson, who was also in the Army, and began a family that included four children: George, Jr. (Dawn), Lynnae Ann (John Rittenhouse), Laureen (Proctor) and Charles (deceased) and his widow, Linda. He also has a step-son, Rick Holt, Sue’s son, now living in Camden, TN.

His grandchildren who survive include John F. Rittenhouse, Jr., Ashley (Dan Warfield), Zander Rittenhouse (great-grandson and son of Brandon deceased), Karissa (Mark Minn), Benjamin Howard Bramhall (Cecilia), Connor Bramhall, Jennifer Proctor, Cameron Proctor and Taylor Patrick.

George at one time, in the late 1960s, owned and raced Standardbred horses on tracks in Delaware, Maryland and New York. Magnolia’s Topsy was perhaps his favorite, and because he lived so close to the Georgetown track, he was often seen sitting in the back of his car leading her to the track. Another horse he raced was said to have been so smart that he knew how to get onto the back porch and poke his head through the kitchen window and beg for food and human attention.

To say that George Bramhall was “one of a kind and the last of the certain breed of country lawyer in Sussex County is not an understatement. When he represented you, he did so with all his wisdom, skill and loyalty. On one occasion he had to work night and day to complete a land settlement, and when he discovered that a newly seated judge had ordered the doors to the courthouse be locked at night, preventing access to the Recorder of Deeds, George gained statewide notoriety by going through the ceiling and dropping down into the room to access the records he needed (Those days as a gymnast came in handy.) On another occasion he took a birdcage into the chambers to argue a point, and later had a “doggie lineup” to see if the witness could accurately identify the correct dog.

It didn’t matter to George who you were, judge or layperson. If he believed in you, he was fiercely loyal and expected no less from others. On one occasion, a well loved and long time employee in the Sussex Courthouse died and out of respect for her all work was stopped until after her funeral. All except for one judge who held court anyway. George did the unthinkable: he walked into the courtroom and turned off the lights. Even while living in Florida, George took up the cause of county residents who were being denied access to a public state owned beach, because a large land developer had built a multi-million dollar beach community on land leading to the park. He made three trips to Tallahasse, at his own expense, to speak on behalf of county residents before a decision was finally made to allow them to enter.

George Bramhall was indeed a man who “did it my way.”

Funeral Services were on Monday, Jan. 31 at the Cranston Funeral Home in Seaford. Burial was in Union Cemetery, Georgetown.

To leave a condolence visit www.cranstonfuneralhome.com.