Bertram Carlisle Brewer was a designer, mathematician, artist, inventor, and supporter of the arts. He was affectionately known as Bert and "Grandpa" and rarely met a stranger over the course of his life.
Bert was born in his grandmother's Cleveland, Ohio home to Mary Bradford Brewer and Bertram Carlisle Brewer on August 6, 1936. He attended Cleveland public schools and participated in extracurricular arts classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art as well as studied violin in his young life. In the late 1950s, Bert studied design engineering at Case Western and Purdue Universities. Just before completing his degree course work, he accepted a position as an aerospace design engineer at North American Rockwell in Los Angeles, California.
During the 1960s at North American Rockwell, Bert worked on a number of Apollo space missions. For a brief period during the late 1960s, he worked at Lockheed as a designer on military fighter jets. He returned to Rockwell in the early 1970s to begin work on a "new" project, a reusable spacecraft to be called the Space Shuttle. He continued designing for the Space Shuttle program through the end of his professional design career.
Throughout his work career, Bert was always engaged in one or more creative projects – painting, ceramics, building clocks, etc., which he attended to evenings after coming home from work. The home garage was his pseudo studio and laboratory. He produced many beautiful objects over the course of his life. Bert was also an avid card player and participated in my card clubs through his adult life.
Shortly after his retirement in the late 1990s, Bert moved from Carson, California to Marietta, Georgia. After settling in Marietta, Bert embarked on a major project – an online retail art gallery. After acquiring a host of technological skills at Rockwell during his engineering career, Bert decided to create an online retail outlet to sell artwork created by African American artists. Many people dismissed his proposal, but that just gave Bert more incentive to pursue his idea. He passed the idea by his grandchildren and asked them what he should call the new business. Their response was "Grandpa's Art". Thus Grandpasart.com
was born and became one of the top online retailers of visual art produced by African American through the 2000s. Bert continued to work his business through the final weeks of his life.
Bert was a Christian and deeply spiritual person. He held strong convictions about his belief system and his role in the world. Bert died peacefully in his sleep in his Marietta home in the early morning hours of Friday, November 15.
Bert was married twice and both marriages ended in divorce. His is survived by his sister, Eugenia Brewer of Atlanta, Georgia; his children from his first marriage, Camille A. Brewer of Chicago, Illinois, David B. Brewer of McDonough, Georgia, and Michael Brewer of Marietta, Georgia; and his grandchildren, Jazelle Bellavance Irons of Chicago, Illinois, Brittany M. Brewer of North Miami, Florida, Brandon D. Brewer of Los Angeles, California, and E'lexis A. Brewer of Powder Springs, Georgia. He is also survived by his niece and nephews, Althea Artis, Mark Artis, and Tony L. Martin, Jr.; in-laws Monique A. Brewer and Jarrett Irons; loving cousins in Cleveland, Ohio; and dear friends he adopted as family members over the years.
Funeral services will be held Monday November 18 at 1 PM in the chapel of Winkenhofer Pine Ridge Funeral Home with Minister Harley Griffin officiating. Interment will follow at Kennesaw Memorial Park in Marietta. The family will receive friends between the hours of 11 AM and 1 PM Monday at the funeral home.