July 9, 1922 ~ April 17, 2022

Born in: Petersburg, WV
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Dr. Elmer Keith Brake, born July 9, 1922 in Petersburg, WV to Elmer Clee Brake and Dora Hiser Brake, passed away on April 17, 2022 after brief illness. After growing up in Petersburg, he attended Bridgewater College, in Bridgewater, VA for two years. He then attended Berea College, Berea, KY, where he met Ruth Holder. After graduation the two married and moved to St. Louis, MO where Keith attended Washington University Dental School. After he graduated from Washington University, the couple moved to Black Mountain, NC where he practiced dentistry for forty six years. Keith served in the U.S. Navy stationed at Camp Lejeune. Throughout his life he loved and was involved in many sports. Keith played basketball while in high school, at Bridgewater College, and for Washington University. When he moved to NC he played for the Asheville Bombers. He was also an avid golfer and bowler most of his adult life. Keith was faithful member Groce United Methodist Church where he regularly attended Sunday School and Worship Services. He was loved by all who knew him for his gentle nature and sense of humor.
“Doc” was preceded in death by wife, Ruth. He is survived by his four children, Jerry R. Brake (wife Diane) of Asheville, NC, Toni L. Brake (husband Bob Lindt) of Asheville, NC, Nicki Brake Wall (husband Richard) of Shelbyville, TN, and Jeffrey K. Brake (wife Elizabeth) of Jackson, GA; and grandchildren, Robbie Brake (wife Kina), Tracy W. Wilkinson, Rebecca Brake Colangelo (husband David), Jackie Brake, Dewayne Brake (wife Kelli), and Jennifer Brake, and six great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson.
A private funeral service for the family will be at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery Chapel with Rev. Gerald Davis officiating. Interment will follow in the Veterans Cemetery.
He was a Charter Member of Groce United Methodist Church and Founding Member of the Botanical Gardens at UNCA. In lieu of flowers, send memorial gifts to Groce United Methodist Church, 954 Tunnel Rd., Asheville, NC 28805. Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road is assisting the family.

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  1. “Doc” was a fine man that I had the privilege to meet in my early teen years at the bowling alley. He was such a good man who always had a kind word and a smile on his face. Whether he bowled a 125 or 225 he was always the same (something I have never been able to attain). Jerry and Jeff, I know you will miss him terribly but just try to focus on the great memories you have. Reading about his involvement with his Church I believe I will see him again someday.

  2. Doc Brake has touched the lives of many, many people in his life. As a dentist, he served my family including myself, Angela. He also bowled for many years with my mother and daddy, Ruth and Jake Lanning. Then Eddie and I got married. Eddie started bowling and he to bowled with Doc. It didn’t stop there. Eddie and I had three boys and they grew up with Doc and his kids that bowled. Everytime you walked into the bowling alley, Star Lanes, one would see Doc coming in carring his little bag with his purple shirt and purple socks. He loved that shirt. It was his bowling shirt. He was smiling. He said hello to everyone, even kids like me 60 years ago. We haven’t see him in a long time but I know he was smiling. What a beautiful person that we have lost that didn’t see rich or poor, black or white. He was a friend to everyone. To the family, we are sorry for your loss. May God carry you through these hard times and bless you.
    Angela and Eddie Kindley

  3. We loved Dr Brake He and Mrs Brake were our first friends when we moved into the neighborhood in 1978 He will be remembered with love

  4. Doc was a very fine and respectful person and will b missed by everyone to honor him in my own way if I can find them I will wear purple socks when I bowl

  5. Dr. Brake was my family dentist since I was a little girl. He was always nice and he would comfort you if you was scared during your visit. Rest in peace Dr. Brake. My family will be praying for the family.

  6. Brake siblings – I think of you individually, your family your dogs and horses often as I still live in Haw Creek. You all came from really good stock! I’m blessed to know you and your parents. May God comfort you in the loss of your dad.

  7. To Jeff and all of the Brake Family

    I remember going to Dr Brake as a kid. My Dad would take all of us to Doc’s office for appointments in the same day. I’m sure he hated to see us come in the door. We visited his office for many years growing up.

    Jeff, my deepest sympathies for you and your family. This is a tough time for everyone but always remember the good times you enjoyed with your dad. I will remember our good times together at ACR and the friendship we built there.

  8. Jeff and family,
    Saddened to learn of your loss. So hard to lose parents. Prayers for you in the coming days.

  9. Dear Jeff, I am thinking of you and your whole family. He had a legacy of love of family, caring, hard work, faith and a richly-lived life. Thinking of your whole family.

  10. Tracy, Robbie & Becky,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your Granddad’s passing. What an amazing long life! I know all of your many fond memories of him will help carry you through this difficult time. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.
    Love, Cindy

  11. Jeff and family, My deepest sympathies for the loss of your Dad.
    Hold on to all of those sweet memories.
    I’m praying for you and your family, may God give you comfort.

  12. Jeff, Paul Bryson here. Sorry to hear about your loss. Miss seeing you at last couple of reunions. I lost my wife Lisa in 2017, retired in 2019, married Mary Butcher in 2020. Now living in Asheville. Cell9198684184. Love to catch up

  13. Doc greeted everyone as a friend, every time! We will long remember his joyful personality when we met him at Groce and the thumbs-up when we would see him walking the neighborhood in those purple socks! He served the Lord well here on earth and we are blessed to have enjoyed his friendship! Family, we have had you in our prayers and will continue to ask for God’s strength and comfort for you. Remember the good times!

  14. I am very sorry about “Doc”. My wife and I bowled in leagues with him and Ruth for many years. They were both very good people.

  15. Toni: so sorry to see your Dad is gone: I met him when I was 5 years old and he pulled an abscessed tooth for me and I am 75 years old now! He was the most wonderful man ever and I loved him my whole life and the last time I saw him I came to your home in January, 2018 and was planning to come see him again when I opened the obituaries today and saw he was gone. You and siblings were so blessed to have him as your father and my hope is to see him again when I leave this world.


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