Dan Edward Brawner

A lifelong artist, outdoorsman, and revered Nashville art director, Dan E. Brawner passed away on Tuesday, December 25, 2018. He was a constant source of inspiration to family and friends due to his innate kindness, immense talent and passion for life.

Born in Adamsville, Tennessee, 1938, Dan Brawner grew up in a spirited family admiring of a successful father Herman Edward and beloved mother Cleo (née Talbert), a prolific pictorial painter. Inspired by five siblings, he also cherished time shaping things in his Uncle Frank’s workshop. Brawner graduated from Warren County High School in Bowling Green, KY, 1956, and received the Ogden Scholarship for Academic Excellence to attend Western Kentucky University. Under the tutelage of Professor Ivan Wilson he developed valuable creative skills and distinguished himself as a talented scenic painter, hand letterer of diplomas and pinstriper of cars. Graduating with a BA in Art from WKU, 1960, he headed south with his wife and best friend, Shirley, to launch a successful design career and raise a close-knit family. 

Well respected in Nashville’s advertising, design, and printing communities, Brawner received numerous industry honors and mentored countless aspiring and professional artists during a 40-year career. He retired as SVP Creative Director at Dye, Van Mol. Often thanked for his generosity, he would reply: “Thank me by helping someone else down the road.” After establishing a new home base in Lebanon, he dedicated the next 20 years to “No Rules” and new adventures on the shores of Misty Cove…and more time in the shop.

“I enjoy the process,” referring to a prodigious number of oil paintings and the creation of 79 muzzleloading firearms. The process was driven by his love of learning, deep knowledge of art, history, and commitment to fine craftsmanship. He was a founding, active member of the Tennessee Longhunters, 1976-2018, member of Music City Airstream Club, and TN Cumberland Plateau Campground.

A voracious reader, avid walker, proud grandfather, father and friend…his life is worthy of imitation.

Brawner is survived by a devoted wife of 58 years, Shirley Del (née Barker); sons Dan (Becky), Eddie (Sharon), daughter Emily (William), grandchildren Sarah, Daniel, Lindsey, Will; sisters Clare B. Davenport, Charlotte B. Allen, and Barbara B. Kilgus.

Family and friends will gather to remember Mr. Brawner on Friday, January 4, 2019, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday the 5th from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. with memorial services beginning at noon in Bryant Chapel at First United Methodist Church in Lebanon, TN, 415 West Main St. 37087 with Pastor Bucky Hesson officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Dan E. Brawner Scholarship Fund for Artistic Development at Western Kentucky University. https://www.wku.edu/chf/brawner/