Marine, West High grad remembered
by Joel Danoy
Jan 24, 2013 | 2981 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Family and friends of a Tracy man who died in 2006 while serving in Iraq gathered Sunday, Jan. 20, to honor the U.S. Marine who many described as having a mischievous grin and an outgoing personality.

Lance Cpl. Brandon Dewey, a 2003 graduate of West High, was killed on Jan. 20, 2006 — exactly seven years to the date that the group of nearly 50 people honored the 49ers fan and car lover at Tracy Cemetery, where he is buried in the Little Arlington section.

He was killed during his second tour, having previously fought during the battle of Fallujah in 2005 during his first deployment.

The group shared a mixture of smiles and tears as Dewey’s mother, Julia Dewey Conover, and stepfather, Scott Conover, led a short memorial service next to his headstone.

The marker was flanked by American and Marine Corps flags, and flowers surrounded the base.

Several of Dewey’s high school friends were in attendance.

Paul McClain, who led the group in an opening prayer, described Dewey as “the kind of guy who gave you a hug instead of a handshake.” He said Dewey would make the nearly eight-hour drive from Camp Pendleton in Southern California to Tracy every weekend to be with friends.

“If you were having a bad day, he would always come and tell you that it’s not so bad and it could be worse,” McClain said. “He was all about having a good time with the people he cared about and loved, you know, his family and friends here (in Tracy).”

Dustin Lievsay, who met Dewey when the two were freshmen at West High, said Dewey was “the life of any party” and he thinks about Dewey’s smile and how he got friends involved in his antics.

“He was always getting into something,” Lievsay said, “and there was a moment when he would get that cheesy grin and you knew you had just become an accomplice in something.”

In the wake of her son’s death, Julia Dewey Conover started Military Moms Tracy. She said Sunday that starting the group and holding the memorial service each year helps “me cope with losing Brandon.”

She was “very grateful” for the community support on Sunday and at other times during the past seven years.

“Our purpose is to make sure that Brandon is not forgotten because he means so much to so many people,” she said. “I’ve been surprised that so many people have really come forward and supported Brandon. It inspires me to keep going.”

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or
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January 25, 2013
Article concerning Brandon Dewey Memorial on Sunday Jan 20, 2012 at Tracy Cemetery. The Military Moms Group was started by Marilyn Chorley in 2003 along with Julia Dewey and Elaine Pulliam when our children joined the service.I don't know who talked to who at this ceremony but the facts are incorrect. The group has been meeting at Chorleys for the last 9 years.
January 25, 2013
I didn't know Lance Cpl. Brandon Dewey, but I knew many Marines like him. Young,brave and loyal to God,Country, Family and the United States Marine Corps. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the family of LCpl Dewey for their loss, and pray that the memory of your loved one never fades, may your hearts be at ease and remember that we Marines never forget. God Bless Lance Cpl. Brandon Dewey, his family and the Unites States of America.

Semper Fidelis

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