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Philanthropist gave millions to charity


It is impossible to measure the number of lives touched by Ed Bratton.  The longtime owner of the Indiana Giant Eagle store and benefactor of countless organizations and individuals passed away yesterday, leaving a matchless legacy of achievement in business and philanthropy.  Bratton was 84-years-old.


You could hardly name a community project in which he was not involved and his passionate support of favorite causes is legendary, from his $1 million gift for the construction of the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, to the annual Grocers Fight Cancer event that has raised over half-a-million dollars at his Indiana store alone, to many renovation projects at the historic Calvary Presbyterian Church in Indiana, to the dozens of service groups and charity organizations he quietly supported. 


Ed Bratton’s career began at Steiner’s Market in 1950, and he became associated with Giant Eagle in 1984, with ownership in the Indiana, Altoona, Ebensburg, and Bedford stores.  He had a special affinity for working with young people, supporting the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts,FFA, and the YMCA.  He was a pioneering leader for many groups, including the Chevy Chase Community Center, Meals on Wheels, ICCAP, the Alice Paul House, and so many others. 


Indiana County Commissioner Rod Ruddock says Bratton was not only a supporter of organizations, but took a personal interest in individuals, sharing a personal story of his "first job", when Bratton enlisted him to put bumper stickers on cars to market the Indiana County Fair.  Ruddock says Bratton will be missed by everyone in Indiana County, a sentiment echoed by Chamber of Commerce President Dana Henry.  IUP Athletic Director Frank Condino and basketball coach Joe Lombardi both offered condolences and praised Bratton's support of IUP athletic programs, Condino saying Bratton had a heart "as big as (the KCAC)". 


Funeral arrangements are under the care of the Bowser-Minich Funeral Home of Indiana.  Friends will be received on Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.  Funeral service arrangements remain incomplete.

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