Stanley Jerold “Jerry” Brasher, age 93, died peacefully at home on Monday, September 6, 2021.
Jerry was born in Santa Rosa, New Mexico on May 7, 1928, his parents were Clarence and Maria Hinojos Brasher. He had four brothers; Clarence Jr., Lester, Eugene and Richard, and a sister Alice. Jerry graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1946 and then went on to college at the University of New Mexico where he would meet his wife to be, Joan Jacobs from Norton, Kansas. The couple married in 1953 and later welcomed six children over a span of twelve years; Elizabeth, Rena, Stewart, Michele, Thomas, and Terrence.
He received his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1953 and a Master of Arts in Economics in 1954 from the University of New Mexico. The family moved to Berkeley, California to further his education in economics at the University of California, Berkeley and also taught undergraduates economics as a TA. In 1956, Jerry moved his family back to New Mexico where with the help of his brothers, he built a house in Cedar Crest. The family moved to Albuquerque in 1963.
Jerry loved traveling all over New Mexico and parts of Colorado on camping and fishing trips with his growing family while building wonderful memories. He would sit for hours on the banks of the Pecos River with his fishing pole, where he would tell his family that, “This is where I do my best thinking.” He embraced and was proud of his Mexican heritage inherited from his mother and was fluent in Spanish. He loved New Mexican food and never turned down a fiesta. He loved his backyard and his garden and spent many summers sitting out there admiring his flowers.
Beginning a life-time of public service, Jerry served in the New Mexico State House of Representatives (Bernalillo County) from 1959 to 1965. His most notable accomplishments, during this time, included co-sponsoring bills that established a medical school at the University of New Mexico and vocational community colleges throughout New Mexico. He moved on to serve as the Governor’s Legislative Liaison Officer and then Administrative Assistant to the Governor, and Senior Staff Member for the Institute of Public Administration. In 1967, He moved his family to the Dominican Republic for several years and worked as an Economist to advise[R1] Dominican cities and towns that were experiencing financially challenging times from a civil war in 1965. The family moved back to Albuquerque where Jerry consulted for the Federation of Rocky Mountain States and was later hired as the Executive Vice President, which required his family to move to Denver, Colorado in 1971.
After he left the Federation of Rocky Mountain States, Jerry found his true calling and joined the Community Health field serving as CEO of Salud Family Health Centers based in Fort Lupton, CO for 40 years until he retired in 2014 at the age of 85. Upon Jerry’s retirement, Governor John Hickenlooper proclaimed January 31st “Jerry Brasher Day” in the State of Colorado.
In addition to Jerry’s incredible commitment to the patients and communities served by Salud, he was instrumental more globally in support of health centers across the country. He mentored countless colleagues and lent his experience and expertise to innumerable local, state, regional, and national boards and committees including serving on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). Jerry also founded two organizations dedicated to supporting the Community Health Center Movement: Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) and Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN).
Jerry received numerous state, regional, and national awards for his work in community health. Not only was Jerry the recipient of several awards, Jerry also had two annual awards named in his honor. CCHN created the Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award and CHAMPS created the Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award. And not only have awards been named in Jerry’s honor, Salud’s Board of Directors paid tribute to Jerry in 2006 with the naming of the “Stanley J. Brasher Administrative and Training Center” located in Fort Lupton, CO.
Jerry leaves a tremendous legacy. The profound positive impact he had during his four-decade tenure at Salud is truly remarkable. He was a tireless advocate on behalf of Community Health Centers and their patients, promoting high quality healthcare as a basic human right. He dedicated his life’s work to social justice and equality. Jerry’s compassion, devotion, benevolence, and perseverance were singular. Some people strengthen our society just by being the kind of people they are. Jerry was one of those people.
While Jerry’s professional accomplishments were impressive and expansive, and he was passionate about his work in the CHC Movement, of course his true loves were his family and his friends.
Jerry was preceded in death by his wife, Joan, his parents Clarence and Maria Brasher, Siblings Clarence Brasher, Lester Brasher, Alice Brasher Waters and Richard Brasher. He is survived by his children; Elizabeth Anne Mitchell, Rena Brasher-Alleva (Frank), Stewart Jacobs Brasher, Michele Anders (Rodger), Thomas Jerold Brasher, and Terence Jon Brasher. His brother, Eugene Brasher (Vonnie); His Grandchildren; Sean Mitchell (Angela), Chris Mitchell (Lola), Ryan Mitchell, TJ Brasher, Kyle Bowers (Jordan), Taylor Anders, Nicole Brasher, Erin Cox (David), Christopher Alleva (Chris), and his Great-Grandchildren; Emma Cox, Madeline Cox, Shelby Bowers, Oliver Bowers, Alexander Mitchell, and Jameson Mitchell. He also had many nieces and nephews who adored him - they all called him “Uncle Buddy”.
Due to COVID-19 a formal service will not take place. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jerry’s honor to Salud Family Health Centers, Attn: Jennifer Morse, 203 S. Rollie Ave, Fort Lupton, CO 80621. Health care | Salud Family Health Centers | Colorado (saludclinic.org)
To view Jerry’s memorial or leave a condolence or memory please visit www.mykeeper.com/StanleyJerryBrasher