Enshrined November 9, 2013
For 74 years, “Preacher” Brandon worked at Memphis International Airport (MEM) where he became the face of Memphis to the corporate world of aviation. Mr. Brandon’s charisma, his smiles and his brand of customer service made him an icon at MEM.
Milton L. Brandon was born February 24, 1921 in Oakland, Tennessee. He graduated from Geeter High School in Shelby County in 1941 where he had been a member of the basketball team. He was united in holy matrimony to Grace Y. Collins in 1963 and became an Ordained Minister in 1965, dedicating his life to his dear wife and the Lord.
“Preacher’s” first full-time job at Memphis Municipal Airport was in 1937 where he sold peanuts and popcorn. During WWII, at the old Clarksdale Airport, he taught airmen how to hand-prop the Stearman airplane engine and he worked at the National Guard PX.
Brandon worked for the FBO, Memphis Aero and its successors, the last being Signature Flight Support. He drove the Courtesy Van and met many famous people including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Michael Jordan and, of course, Elvis. Every pilot that ever met “Preacher” Brandon never forgot him – his eternal optimism, his caring way and love of his Lord and of his fellow man were exemplified through his special gift for encouraging others with his homespun wit and wisdom.
The Memphis Area Aviation Community honored “Preacher” Brandon for his exemplary contributions to the Memphis area in 1998 by inducting him into the Memphis Aviation Legends Hall of Fame. He also received honors from The City of Memphis and the Memphis International Airport.