The Heineman and Brabant Families and Friends
Bernard Heineman, Sr., and his sons, Bernard, Jr., William M., and Andrew D. Heineman, members of the Brabant family and various friends established The Corporal William A. Brabant Memorial Scholarship in 1968. These individuals wanted to commemorate William Andrew Brabant who was named after two Heineman brothers and who died in action during the Vietnam War. This fund also pays tribute to the years of service given by the Brabant family while taking care of the Heineman’s summer residence on Picton Island, Clayton, New York. It is offered to a freshman and a returning student working toward any Jefferson Community College degree.
Remembering his brother, Peter Brabant said, ‘He was athletic, and in high school he joined the football and wrestling teams. He loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed being in and around water. Today, I can still remember him traveling along the St. Lawrence River in his Higgin’s boat. In the depths of fog concealing everyone, people knew he was coming because his whistle always carried a happy tune. His smiling face was always welcome around elderly people whom he loved to visit.’
Born on December 12, 1947, Cpl. William A. Brabant attended Clayton Central High School in Clayton. He graduated on June 28, 1965, and continued to work for the Heineman family helping his father as the island’s caretaker. Later, being employed by the American Boat Line in Alexandria Bay, New York, he completed an associate’s degree in applied science from JCC in 1967.
Although many young men were drafted during the Vietnam War, some volunteered for service. This is what Mr. Brabant did. On November 14, 1967, he enlisted in the Army. His basic training was completed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on February 2, 1968.
Promoted in Vietnam to corporal, after having completed tracking school in the United States only ten days earlier, Mr. Brabant was killed in action on October 8, 1968, near Duc Pho, Vietnam, while serving as an infantryman in the 11th Infantry Brigade of the Americal Division.
Mr. Brabant was a member of Troop 32, Boy Scouts of America and the Clayton Waterski Club.
The Jefferson Community College Foundation is grateful to the Heineman and Brabant families and friends for starting this scholarship.