Ken Brazzle, for a quarter century, left his fingerprints on Tucson sports.
From an out-of-the-way high school game, to minor-league and spring training baseball, to all manner of Arizona athletics, to the Super Bowl and the World Series, Brazz covered and recorded all that and much more.
Brazzle died Sept. 11, one day after his 63rd birthday, and friends and family gathered to celebrate his life Saturday at Grace Temple Baptist Church, where he served many roles, including as Deacon.
He was remembered there as always willing to do anything, no matter how small. He didn’t need to be told to do something; he needed to be told when to stop. As Pastor D. Grady Scott said in a rousing eulogy Saturday, Brazzle “fought the good fight,” “kept the faith” and “finished the race.”
Among those who shared their memories of Brazzle were David Adams, the former Sunnyside High and Arizona standout running back.
Brazzle arrived in town in 1985 from Abilene, Texas, and was a fixture on the Tucson Citizen sports staff until the closure of the newspaper’s print edition in May 2009. I arrived in Tucson that same year and shared many press boxes with Brazzle, some as the guy from the other newspaper, some as a Citizen teammate.
What stands out about Brazz is that he never wrote to glorify his byline; he never got caught up in any contrived competition between the newspapers. It was just about getting and writing the story. Like his work at the church, he simply went about doing his job, never seeking any special credit.
Among the Citizen staffers, one story is often-told. Sharing a hotel room on a road trip with columnist Corky Simpson, Brazzle’s legendary snoring drove Corky to seek shelter in the bathroom, where he slept in the tub.
Mostly, Brazz is remembered simply as a good guy, who not only left a lasting record of Tucson sports but improved his community.
Brazzle is is survived by three sons, Jamar, Kevin and Terik, and five grandchildren.