RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – Matthew Neil Bragg, 27, died unexpectedly on Sunday, June 6.

He was born on Jan. 11, 1977, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

He was the second and youngest son of Stephen Bragg and Debra (Pulsifer) Oliver.

At the time of his birth, his father was serving in the United States Air Force and after a few years the family returned to Maine, moving to Old Orchard Beach. He grew up in Old Orchard Beach and attended Old Orchard Beach schools and graduated from high school in 1995.

During his school years, he was very active in the school bands, particularly the junior and senior marching bands. He performed in the percussion section, mostly playing the base drum. He was also involved with the Old Orchard Beach Little League and loved playing in the catcher position.

During high school, he was on the swim team and the debate team, going to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Problems of Democracy competition where he won an award for his debating skills. This love carried over to many passionate discussions about politics with both his grandfathers.

He was also very involved in the drama department. He performed in the one act plays and in the regional one act play competitions.

He was also involved with the Sanford Maine Stage Theater, performing, as well as working on many stage and set designs. He was also very involved in Shaolin Kempo training that taught him strength through non-violent means, which he practiced throughout his life.

In November of 1995, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, following in the steps of his father, his paternal grandfather and his stepfather. He completed his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and went on to his medical technician training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. After graduating from that program, he was transferred to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where he completed his remaining four years with the Air Force.

After his discharge, he was asked to continue his work with the GI physicians through the VA Hospital in Rancho Cordova, Calif. He worked very closely with the physicians and was active with their international teaching programs.

He was also enrolled at American River College in Sacramento, Calif., and was working toward a law degree.

He was a longtime member of an SCA Renaissance group that performed battles and re-enactments of that time period.

He was very handy with his sword fighting skills and was very proud to work with his mother to coordinate a sword fight battle for a maidens hand in marriage in the medieval wedding of his brother, Gregg. He was intricate in keeping all actions true to that time in history.

His true love was nature itself. He loved hiking, camping and also scuba diving with his dad.

He loved spending time at both grandparents’ camps swimming, canoeing and 4-wheeling. He loved studying the history of the American Indians and learning from their teachings. He also loved animals of all kinds and had a cat and a ferret that were very special to him.

He was very kind and compassionate to all family and friends.

Surviving is his mother, Debbie Oliver and stepfather, Donald Oliver of Old Orchard Beach; his father, Stephen Bragg of California City, Calif.; a brother, Gregory Bragg of Wichita, Kan.; a sister, Alyssa Bragg of California City, Calif.; maternal grandparents, Jean and Gerald Pulsifer of Turner; paternal grandparents, Joan and Gordon Bragg of Monmouth; two aunts, Brenda Pulsifer of Sabattus, and Joan Desmond of Monmouth; two uncles, Brian Pulsifer of Hebron, and Victor Bragg of Rochester, N.H.; a nephew; and many cousins.

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