Miami, Fla. – “It is with profound sadness that I convey the news of the passing of our esteemed 30th Grand Basileus, Brother Dr. Edward J. Braynon Jr.,” said John Howard, executive director of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., on the passing of the organization’s beloved brother.

“He peacefully entered Omega Chapter today, Feb. 25, 2024, at the age of 96,” Howard said. “His departure leaves a void in our hearts, yet his legacy will forever illuminate our path.”

As stated in his obituary, the respected leader’s passing marks the end of an era for Miami, Florida, “and indeed, the entire community,” and “left an indelible mark on the hearts of many.”

Born on Jan. 15, 1928, in Miami’s historic Railroad Shop area Braynon’s journey was one of service, leadership, and vision.

He graduated with honors from Booker T. Washington High School at the remarkable age of 16 in 1944, before continuing his educational pursuit at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.

At Fisk, he excelled both academically and athletically, being a member of the track team and the Fisk Dance Band, where he played trumpet and served as the band’s manager.

In 1945, during his second semester at Fisk, Braynon was initiated into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Eta Psi Chapter, marking the beginning of a lifelong commitment to service and brotherhood.

He later transferred to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he completed his undergraduate studies in biology and earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Howard’s School of Dentistry in 1954.

Braynon’s dedication to community service extended beyond academia. He served as a commissioned dental officer in the U.S. Air Force, demonstrating his commitment to both his country and his profession.

Within the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, his leadership was exemplary, in various roles at the state, district and international levels, From 1958 to 1963 he served as Basileus of Sigma Alpha chapter in Miami, Fla., culminating in his appointment as the fraternity’s Grand Basileus.

Beyond his fraternity and military service, Braynon was a lifelong member of St. Paul A.M.E Church in Miami, where he served on the Steward Board and chaired the scholarship committee. He was also actively involved in organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Young Men’s Christian Academy (YMCA), and the Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida.

Braynon was recognized as one of South Florida’s Living Legends by the Miami Herald in 1992 and was listed among the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine.

Braynon was a past member of Board of Trustees for the Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida. He was a charter member of the Howard University Alumni Association of South Florida. He was a former president of the Dade County Academy of Medicine, a charter member, former president and life member of the Dade County Dental Society. He was a life member of the East Coast District Dental Association, Florida and American Dental Associations. His commitment to excellence and service earned him numerous accolades, including keys to cities, commendations, proclamations, plaques, and certificates.

Dr. Braynon’s legacy of community involvement and leadership will continue to inspire generations to come.

He is survived by his children Edward and Keith Braynon, grandson Kobe Braynon, and countless family and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife Ann Carey Braynon.

Arrangements are entrusted to Range Funeral Home. A viewing will be held Friday, March 8 from 2 to 5 pm at Range Funeral Home, 5227 N.W. 17th Ave., Miami.

The Brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. will hold a memorial service on Friday at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium of Florida Memorial University, 15800 N.W. 42nd Ave., Miami.

The Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, March 9 at 10 a.m. at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 1866 N.W. 53 Ter., Miami.