‘Generous, funny, and caring’: Family remembers Hampstead man wh - | WBTV Charlotte

‘Generous, funny, and caring’: Family remembers Hampstead man who died in motorcycle wreck

Donald Brailsford, middle, died in a motorcycle wreck on Wednesday night. (Source: Brailsford Family) Donald Brailsford, middle, died in a motorcycle wreck on Wednesday night. (Source: Brailsford Family)

Family and friends are mourning the loss of Donald Brailsford, 60, who died in a motorcycle wreck on Wednesday night.

Called Don by those who knew him, Brailsford was one of six siblings and Deborah Brailsford — the youngest sister — has fond memories of her brother.

“The two words I can say about him are funny and generous. He walked into a room, he would light up the room,” said Deborah. “I couldn’t have been luckier, and I’m proud to be his sister.

“One thing that gives me comfort is he loved his motorcycle riding. It was his passion. Ever since I can remember when I was a little girl, he’s had motorcycles and the group he rode with was very special to him.”

A memorial ride for Don will take place Saturday at 2 p.m. from the Fox & Hound in Wilmington. The group will travel to the accident site on Holly Shelter Road in Castle Hayne where people will lay flowers and share thoughts for Don.

Keaton Brailsford, Don’s 21-year old son, was riding with his father when the fatal crash happened.

“There was a construction truck throwing rocks up. That happens with big rigs,” said Keaton.

The pair decided to pass the truck to avoid the gravel, but a curve in the road added a complication.

“As we were overtaking…I look up and I see a little puff of dust indicating he had hit some gravel, and I saw his rear tire slip a little bit to the right,” said Keaton.

Don lost control of his motorcycle after the wheel regained traction, his son said. Then Don's motorcycle ran into the ditch where he crashed and died.

“There was no suffering,” said Keaton.

Don worked as a developer and helped lead the design of projects like Randall Parkway in Wilmington, according to his family.

Keaton now wears a treasured gift from his father.

“A month ago, [my father] gave me this Rolex watch, which he bought in celebration when he got the contract to build Randall Parkway,” said Keaton. “He wore this every day for 34 years straight. It’s got dents in it from when he was a roofer, all kinds of stuff, all kinds of memories that I have from when he was wearing this watch.”

Brody Brailsford, Don’s 23-year-old son, lived with his father before the accident and remembers taking trips with him.

“He just lit up a room wherever he went," Brody said. "He laughs. He makes friends with cashiers, people, workers, anybody you can find.

“I was diagnosed with autism around age 4, and I've got to say, my parents fought tooth and nail to get me the accommodations I need. My dad fought with the school system to get me the help I needed because he's one of the best fathers. He went above and beyond for his kids."

Alan Brailsford, Don’s brother, remembers his outgoing personality and ability to make friends anywhere he went.

"He was the kind of person that would just make you the most interesting thing to him at that moment," said Alan. "And with his ability to have that kind of connection, just very curious, always asking about you — 'How you doing?' — so anywhere he went, it just seemed like he knew everybody."

“Best sibling you could ever have, best friend you could ever have, best father you could ever have, best son you could ever have,” said Deborah.

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