Percy E Brandon

McMinville, Oregon

January 8 , 2016

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
80 Marines GnySgt


 Gunny, joined the Marines in 1953 at the age of 17 and retired in 1973 after deployments in Japan, Korea and Vietnam where he served 2 tours and received 4 purple hearts.

Longtime McMinnville resident Percy Eugene Brandon "Gunny" passed away on January 8, 2016 at Lebanon Veterans' care home after a long arduous journey with cancer in the from of Multiple Myeloma. Family members surrounded him the days before he passed peacefully. Gunny was born on the Rosebud Indian reservation on June 29, 1935 to Howard and Bertha Brandon. His family moved to Oregon in 1942 and lived in Salem, Grand Ronde, and McMinnville. Gunny attended Grand Ronde grade school, and Willamina High School, but did not graduate as he, Gunny, joined the Marines in 1953 at the age of 17 and retired in 1973 after deployments in Japan, Korea and Vietnam where he served 2 tours and received 4 purple hearts.
He came back to McMinnville to recover from injures suffered in Vietnam. Where he worked for Triangle Motors, Home laundry, Rowell Wickersham and the News Register. He owed and operated four businesses, St Paul Rodeo Inn, Vets Club American legion post 21, Northwest Asphalt and Gunny's Gym with his wife Shirlie. He was a true patriot; after retirement he moonlighted, installing and donating U.S. flagpoles. He also had a passion for community service. He sponsored girl's softball, little league teams, and Hood to Coast relay teams. He participated in local festivals, parades, and ran for election as Yamhill County Commissioner. His involvement with Native American organizations/community found him dressed as Santa Claus, a Gorilla, and in traditional Native American attire.
He was a noted lecturer and forum panelist on combat/Marine life and PTSD. Gunny completed his GED in 1964, but was also awarded an honorary high school diploma from Willamina High School after 50 years in 2004. In 1993, under the supervision of a Veterans' counselor he began to write the contents of a book that would later be published and now is in it's 3rd edition.

For some memorial service snapshots, Click photo below:

January 20, 2016


GySgt P.E. Gene "Gunny" Brandon, USMC, Retd

Reported by: Col Alfredo Arguedas US Marine ‘65


With a saddened heart, I report that Gunnery Sergeant P.E. “Gene” Brandon, USMC, Retd (beloved “Gunny”), reported to the Supreme Commandant at 0008, Friday, 8 Jan 2016. Gunny fought a long and valiant fight against cancer, which finally claimed him early this morning at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon. While we take comfort he is at peace in the tender care of our Lord, he will be sorely missed.

Gunny served our Corps faithfully from 1953 to 1970 and medically retired due to severe wounds suffered while serving with 2/4 in June 1968. He was proud of his Vietnam service with the “Magnificent Bastards”, as “Echo” Co, Company Gunnery Sergeant, particularly during the Battle of Dai Do. In four months, he was awarded that many Purple Heart medals…the 4th taking him home to an early retirement from the Corps. In all of that, like each of us, Gunny was most honored and proud to claim the title of US Marine.

Please pass this notice out to Marines in the USS Oregon and Columbia River MCL Dets. I will keep you posted on the funeral arrangements being made by his family at the Willamette National Cemetery…like the outstanding Gunny he is, he requested to be buried in his utilities.

Semper Fi,

Posted on FB 01/21/16:
‎Robert A Crider‎ to KLYC
11 hrs · Kansas City, MO · 
Thank you KLYC for your veterans outreach called Operation Eagles Wings and especially the video streaming of the ten am Wednesday memorial service at Evergreen for Gunny Brandon.
Gunny P. (Percy) E. Brandon (never called him that to his face) was my very own personal Gunnery Sgt. with Fox Company 2n Battalion 4th Marines, FMF in 1968. I needed a lot of help and he was always there when this sailor need him. I personally med-Evaced him for two of his Purple Hearts, the last one finished his career. He tended to absorb unusually high amount of enemy attention. I saw him walk of a Huey 25 feet in the air and fight hand to hand with a rock ape that landed in his fox hole on Monkey Mountain. His version of the story is quite different than the true.
I have been blessed to have stayed in close contact with him for 38 great years – he will always be remembered and held with high esteem in my heart.
Your Operation Eagles Wings has allowed me to say; “until next time Gunny” to a great Marine and mentor from here in Kansas City, MO
Thank you from those of us who serve, have served or will service this great country in Uniform.
R. Crider
HM3, United States Navy (as Gunny would say “Naval Infantry – just a Marine out of uniform in bellbottom pants”.
Posted on FB 01/09/16:

‎Ruben Contreras Jr.‎ to I Dragged the Gut in Downtown McMinnville
January 9 at 8:24am · 
We've lost Gunny. He passed away January 8th, just past midnight. Percy E. "Gunny" Brandon was so many things and touched so many people it's hard to even know where to begin. He was a decorated veteran serving in Korea and Vietnam and spent two years in the hospital recovering from his war injuries, and had to learn to walk again. In 2012 Portland honored him as Grand Marshall of the Portland Memorial Day Parade. I'll post some pictures below. Many will know him from his Gunny's Gym & Fitness Center in the old skating rink by Baker Field, so I'll put in an old Gunny's ad. He influenced and encouraged so many people. I hope people will share stories below. He even inspired a song "The Ballad Of Gunny Brandon." (listen at this link…)
Friends, please tell us how Gunny touched your life, and any stories about Gunny. This community war hero, businessman, and civic leader will not soon be forgotten. Godspeed Gunny!
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Evergreen Chapel (chapel is on the Evergreen Museum grounds near the Spruce Goose) 500 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way, across from the airport in McMinnville. Interment will be at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. tags: Russell Brandon, Jan Brandon Gunny Brandon
Scott Ingalls I remember Meeting him around the spring of 1976.... He pulled up out front of the Record Store in a rebuilt Army Jeep with full insignia.

Virginia Privatsky Gunny autographed a book to my mom, Delva Privatsky, long ago.... sadly it was sold in estate sale. Wish I knew who bought it. Would dearly buy it back. Amazing man with a heart as big as yamhill county!

Manuel Chris Galan R.I.P. Gunny. May God bless your soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. 

Joseph Huit When my recruiter was murdered in mcninnville in 1974. Gunny Brandon donated his dress blues for him to be buried in. Thats probably my best memory I'll keep of him. I never knew that till i read his book. Talked to him about that summer of 2014.

Pam Parkhurst Gunny was an original, and a true patriot. God rest his soul.

Gary Neuschwanger I had known Gunny since our infantry days in Vietnam. We always had a lot to talk about having shared similar experiences. I was always amazed that he signed up for more time over there. We recently reunited at the McMinnville Cancer center where we continued our discussions. I always appreciated his great appreciation and respect for anyone who shared his adventures in Vietnam.

Curtis Frey He gave a free membership and instruction to anyone joining the military to help prepare them...Good Guy, need more like 'em.

Lavina Lee Gunny always had a great sense of humor. He always liked to see people and always gave his best. He was a true Hero and an amazing person. He love the Marine Corp and gave his all to this country. He will be missed.

Darrel Roberts It was DIs like Gunny that helped Kids like me come home from Vietnam Thanks for the long talks Gunny and thanks for your time in I will miss you.

Lisa Warren Oravetz RIP Gunny, what a pleasure to know you, so thrilled we got to see you in December. Semper Fi!

James Greer God speed Gunny! I remember when I met you at the gym my freshmen year of HS. It was your inspiration that would lead me back from shattering my testicle pole vaulting, to finishing my senior year as one of the best wrestlers in the state and nationally. I then followed your advice again and 20+ years later retire from active duty with the Army. You were not done then, I would go on to graduate with a degree in finance and work these past few years with Boeing. You have been a lifelong inspiration and the greatest reward will be when I thank you at the gates when I see you again.

Jim Warwick Another part of history has pasted ,,, we were so lucky to experience it , thanks gunny , you touched many lives , rest sleep well , you will always be remembered

Josh Fields Gunny.. the name he was known by for arguably most of his life. Anyone who hears about him or had the pleasure to work with him would know he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Yet, a lot of people don't even know what "Gunny" means. Gunny, is a shortened version of the Marine Corps rank of Gunnery Sergeant. It's often said that it's the best rank in the Corps. They're senior enough that those under them have a certain level of respect not afforded to other ranks, and junior enough to avoid the spotlight and politics of more senior leaders. They can often tell junior officers something and and they'll snap-to just like a private. Gunnys are a Marine's Marine. They'll give you the shirt of their back and maybe even their boots to make sure you get what you need to be safe and successful. Gunny was my first boss, at seven years old. He gave me a shot at having my own paper route with 33 customers. I didn't even know his given first name until I was well into my teens. He was a massive influence in my decision to join the Corps, and inspired my own dream to attain the rank of Gunny and retire. Gunny B. was always eager to hear updates on my Marine Corps career over the years and always encouraged me to stick it out to retirement. Circumstances being what they are, I haven't been able to get Gunny, but I am a Staff Sergeant, one below that of Gunny. And, this April, I'll get half of that dream, when I retire. For someone to have Gunny become their name says a great deal about who they are to keep that title, even after leaving the Corps. Gunny, was everything a gunny should be long after leaving the Corps. His door was always open, and he was always ready with a story, as every good gunny ought to be. He gave back to the Corps that he loved so much every single day. Any Marine, from anywhere, even those preparing to go to boot camp, only needed to show their ID card at Gunny's Gym to use all the facilities for free. I was able to send Jan some pictures of me in uniform at the birthday ball here in Japan, soon after she posted that Gunny had moved to Lebanon. He always loved hearing updates about those of us from the next generations of the Corps from who hailed from McMinnville. There will be many stories and memories to come, and I'm sure I may add more myself. We, the community, the country and the Corps have truly lost a treasure. Fair Winds and following seas, Gunny! Semper Fidelis!

Sandy Roe-Knodel My dad brought him over to our house in mcminnville in 68 to talk to bob about viet nam...bob really liked him...he was a very nice man

Posted on FB 01/12/16:

Marine Corps Family Support shared Rita Perry - LaChance's post.
January 12 at 9:54pm · 
RIP Gunny Percy E Brandon. You will always be in our hearts.

Rita Perry - LaChance
January 12 at 7:05am · 
Sometimes the impact of how important a part of your life someone has become doesn't hit until they are gone. I keep wishing this was just a bad dream. I wish I could just have one more visit, one more time to sit and listen to the stories that only he could tell. To walk with him and brows through his memorabilia and listen to the stories of where they came from and hear the pride in his voice as he spoke of each one. I think this is really going to take some time folks. Things will be very Very different for me.

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