Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
San Francisco is a well-lit, industrially efficient city due largely to the efforts of family owned Brayer Electric Company, established in 1928. Second generation owner Theodore F. Brayer ’62, born on April 8, 1940, grew the company to even greater heights having learned “the ropes” from his industrious and iconic father George F Brayer. A native San Franciscan, he attended St Cecilia’s grammar school, St. Ignatius High School, and SCU, where he was later appointed to the Board of Fellows by the Jesuit community. A fellow Ignatian, Tom Colton introduced Ted to his Reno cousin, Marilouise Reynolds, whom he married in 1963. Four children followed, Allison, Patricia (Brayer) Foster ’89, George, and Nancy. Ted was elected president of the San Francisco Electrical Contractors Association and later the NECA Western Region Tri-District governor, and was a longtime member of Big Wheels, an electrical industry organization. During the Carter Administration, Ted was appointed to represent the American Small Business Administration at the White House in Washington D.C. His first major endeavor at Brayer Electric was as project manager of the Stanford Linear Accelerator—the two-mile-long tunnel that split the atom. The Hyatt Regency Hotel designed by famed architect John Portman (the first Hyatt in San Francisco) was a notable project along, with “The Path of Gold,” which replaced existing light standards up and down Market Street with more elegant gold-toned lights. A few of Ted’s favorite contract accounts included Hamm’s Brewery, where new industrial designs “spit out” more cans per minute than any brewery in America, and Moffit Field, where projects such as man-motion acceleration and a wind tunnel for testing aerodynamics of planes occurred. Entrepreneur that he was, Ted developed Wind Energy Inc., the second effort in the U.S. to study and capture the wind via wind farms. Always looking for ways to save energy, he also developed Brayer Lighting, a company which retrofitted existing inefficient light fixtures. All work and no play? Not quite. Ted bought his first 49er season ticket at age 15 when they played at Kezar Stadium and followed his Niners to newly constructed Candlestick Park, another iconic Brayer Electric project, remaining a season ticket holder until their last game at the Stick. As a junior member and later a senior member of the Olympic Club, many hours were spent utilizing all the facilities. He co-owned a duck club in the Sacramento Delta, which was accessed by an African Queen–type craft called “Spinner Island Ferry.” In the end, however, his greatest delight was fly fishing all over the West, including Alaska. Upon retirement, Ted restored two classic wooden boats: O Wood Eye, a 1964 Century Coronado, which placed first in its class at the North Tahoe Wooden Boat Show, followed by Blondie, a 1954 Chris Craft Holiday, which placed second in its class. Ted died peacefully at home on April 28, 2019, after an eight-month battle with cancer. His surviving family includes Marilouise, his wife of 55 years; daughters Allison Haley, Patricia Foster, and Nancy Watson; son George Brayer; sons-in-law Bud Haley and Todd Foster; and daughter in-law Erin Brayer. The grandchildren: Jack, Dean, and Graham Haley; Teddy and Deke Foster; Ashley Watson; and Margi, Georgie, Henry, and Patrick Brayer.