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Charles Paul Bram

charles bram


Charles (Charlie) Paul Bram, age 61, of Manassas, Virginia, passed away on June 25, 2022, after 7 years of having stage 4 colon cancer. Charlie was born on January 31, 1961, in Washington, DC to Joseph (Joe) Bram and Leila Dragonette Bram. Charlie and his twin sister Marion are the youngest of four children, with brothers Alan and Rick. Charlie grew up in Arlington, VA, attending Birchwood Preschool (later to learn he was the ‘Birchwood barfer!’), Nottingham Elementary School, and Williamsburg Middle School, and he graduated from both HB Woodlawn and Yorktown High schools. Charlie attended the New England Conservatory of Music, and then he received a bachelor’s degree in music and math education from James Madison University where he met his best friend and life partner, Terrie McClure, at the JMU Marching Royal Dukes summer band camp in 1984. Charlie and Terrie were married on December 26, 1992, in the mountains of Montreat, North Carolina where they spent time every summer with extended family.

Charlie was an exceptional trumpet player; he played professionally with the Clyde Beatty Cole Circus band, the Kaleidoscope Orchestra Big Band (they were the Bolling Air Force Base Officers’ Club house dance band and performed throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area), the McLean Symphony, the Mount Vernon Chamber Orchestra, the BELwinds family band, plus countless ensemble gigs. In college, he played lead trumpet in New England’s Medium Rare Big Band (where he performed with Dizzy Gillespie), and at JMU starred in the 300+ member Marching Royal Dukes. He also loved to listen to music, especially Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. In addition to his musical talents, Charlie was an avid mathematician who taught high school and tutored students on everything from algebra to differential equations.

Charlie was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 9. In 1991, he participated in a special National Institutes of Health (NIH) program where they conducted a temporal lobectomy to stop his seizures. This surgery allowed him to drive which he really enjoyed. In later years, he worked as an Uber driver and met many people who loved his rides and conversations.

Charlie has many family members and friends who love and adore him including Terrie McClure of Manassas, VA; his sister Marion Bram Dragonette (Chris Tonozzi) of Glenwood Springs, CO; his brothers Rick Bram (LuAnn) of Rochester, MN, and Alan Bram (Etsuko) of San Francisco, CA; his nieces and nephews Michaela Bram, Chris Bram and Alanna Bram of Rochester, MN; Nico Tonozzi and Leo Tonozzi of Colorado.

A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, July 7 at 7:00 pm EST via Zoom.

Here is the Zoom meeting info:

Bull Run UU BRUU is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: Charlie’s Celebration of Life

Time: Jul 7, 2022, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


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Meeting ID: 941 8199 7782

Passcode: 381513

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Memories Timeline


  1. Thank you Charlie for all the great laughs on our drives between Virginia Beach and Massanutten, and the joy you would bring to vacation each year. I’ll always cherish them.

  2. For your loss of Charlie Bram – I send my sincere sympathy to my dear friend Marion and to every one of Charlie’s loving family members and friends.

  3. What a privilege it was to know Charlie and the Bram family growing up in Arlington. We played countless rehearsals and concerts together. Charlie was an outstanding trumpeter but even more exceptional as a person. My sincere condolences to Marion, Rick, Alan, Terrie and their families.

  4. Charlie always had something funny and witty to say. He was such a great leader in the band throughout the years and I will always remember him for those days. Condolences to Marion and the family.

  5. Charlie Bram was an amazing musician and a wonderful mentor and friend. No one has a bigger heart. Rest in peace, my friend.

  6. Charlie, you will be missed. I loved your sense of humor and our deep philosophical conversations. Safe journey to your next adventure my dear friend.

  7. Charlie was (is) a funny, witty, brilliant, sincere, and superbly talented person and a genuinely quality soul, from whom I learned so much. Not everyone we meet in life changes our trajectory and impacts us so positively. I valued my many years with him as well as with the Bram family, and I know my family loved him as well! I’d been trying to find him the last 6 or 7 years and had given up; I myself just came through treatment for colon cancer and as a result have been grabbing up as much life as I can. Thanks for all those who contacted my sister who was able to reach me up here in Canada. My deepest condolences to all those who loved him and whose lives he touched. He was one of a kind!

  8. Though we lost touch after college, I have never forgotten Charlie’s kindness nor his musical talent. Chris and I are sad to hear of his passing. Our thoughts are with you, Terrie, and with your family.

  9. Charlie and I were good friends in Jr. HS and HS.
    Even though we didn’t keep in touch after high school, I would often think of him over the years. He was one of those people you never forget. He was one of the kindest people I have ever met. He had incredible musical talent, an infectious laugh, and a bigger than life personality!! I regret we never reconnected, but he will never be forgotten!! My condolences to ALL his friends and family!

  10. Charlie was one of the kindest and gentlest souls I ever met. He is the first one who would offer to help, if you needed it. I’ll never forget when I had major surgery and Charlie drove Terrie all the way to see me in Silver Spring, MD. That really meant a lot, and I never forgot it.

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